Tabasco asparagus with black quinoa


With an abundance of beautiful bright asparagus from Riverford to use up last week, I wanted to do something beyond the usual lemon and black pepper that I usually shove on top. An adaptation of one of Skye Gyngell’s recipes, I found this while browsing Heidi Swanson’s beautiful 101 Cookbooks: she had added quinoa to the Tabasco and asparagus for more bulk, and I took it one step further, boldly throwing in an egg and some black sesame. And may so the cycle of recipe evolution continue. What next for this mighty little bowl I wonder?

Quinoa is a brilliant source of protein and all the amino acids we need, but you must always make sure to buy Fair Trade to ensure fair and responsible sourcing from its growers. And while I rarely use butter in my cooking or diet, it is not something that should be automatically black listed. On the contrary, if you allow yourself a little dairy every now and then, it is rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K2, and the fatty acid Butyrate – an anti-inflammatory which has been shown to promote good gut and metabolic health. So indulge in its unique salty creamy goodness and enjoy it.

Serves 2:

100g organic butter, soft at room temperature

2 tsp Dijon mustard

30 drops Tabasco sauce

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt

450 g asparagus, cut chunky

4 cups cooked quinoa

2 soft boiled eggs (I do 5 1/2 – 6 mins)

Sesame seeds to sprinkle

Start by boiling your quinoa in some veg stock or salted water until the rings fall away from the centre of the grain. Meanwhile, in a Magimix or blender, mix the butter, Tabasco, lemon juice and salt until you have a creamy whipped mixture.  Taste and season accordingly.

Boil the eggs, run under cold water and peel. While they’re cooking, you can do the asparagus: simply boil in some water for one minute then remove from the heat and run quickly under cold water to keep it nice and crunchy.

To assemble, mix about 3 tbsp of the Tabasco butter with the hot quinoa and place in two bowls. Then add the asparagus, egg, seeds and salt and pepper to taste and dig in while it’s still warm. You will have some butter leftover and it’s great on a baked sweet potato or other veggies.


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