The asparagus season is short and sweet, so make the most of it.
I love asparagus. It's just about my favourite vegetable, and it's made all the more alluring by the fact it has only a short season. The new-season asparagus is so good, fresh and green and full of flavour.
When I lived in Wellington a few years ago it was fair to say I was addicted. From the moment I saw the magical words "new-season asparagus" at Moore Wilson's I was pretty much eating it daily.
When I learned to roast it, quickly on a very high heat, with a little olive oil and sea salt, my life changed forever.
It's a great green to sneak into anything that requires green vegetables through the couple of months it's really good.
Good-quality produce should always be treated pretty simply but it's always good to try new things.
A bunch on the barbecue with just a squeeze of lemon, under poached eggs for breakfast, with haloumi for lunch, or cut in half then wrapped in prosciutto and baked, then served on a toothpick as a canape is a favourite, too.
Its versatility means it is great with aioli, eggs, steamed, roasted or lightly fried. I appreciate it is one of those love or hate vegetables but I feel sorry for the haters out there.
You're supposed to remove the tough, woody ends of each stem before cooking, and when I was taught to snap them off rather than cut, a whole new world opened up.
They generally snap off just at the end of the toughest part, which is exactly what you want. I've learned recently that it's equally as good raw, too. The flavour is similar and the crunch is great.
For these recipes, I thought it was a good chance to remind everyone to always alter them as they see fit, and to trust their own judgment.
Increasingly I'm using recipes as ideas rather than gospel, especially when salad and vegetables are concerned.
So as always, you could use these as ideas and alter them - if you don't like a particular herb or nut, sub it out for one you like.
I'm always changing things, depending on whether my mint plant has died or my parsley has gone to seed or I have a giant jar of walnuts in the cupboard. Play around and work out what is best for you.
These recipes are all great for a group. The first two salads work for a barbecue; you could add any kind of meat to complete it as a meal, especially a butterflied chicken on the barbecue.
The pasta is a great, super-quick and easy mid-week meal and is especially good because the dishes are minimal.
So grab some greenery and get playing around with this quintessentially spring vegetable. Unless of course you hate the stuff.