Nature's Spears - Asparagus

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Making their grand entrance in Spring, Asparagus is the perfect vegetable to include in warm or cool dishes. Which, let's face it, is perfect for our up and down weather at the moment. 

The benefits

Asparagus is a very good source of fibre, foliate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.  It's one of the top ranked fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This may help slow the aging process and reduce inflammation.

These all mighty spears also act as a natural diuretic. Containing high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. 

To make the most of this seasons Asparagus here are some recipes that you may like to try: 

Asparagus salad with fetta and pistachios


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 lemons, zested, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches large asparagus with the woody ends removed
  • 4 radishes, thinly shaved on a mandolin or vegetable peeler
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 60g fetta cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, toasted, coarsely chopped


Step 1

In a medium bowl, whisk oil, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, dill and parsley. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Thinly slice asparagus diagonally. In a large bowl, toss asparagus with half the vinaigrette to coat. Set aside, tossing occasionally, for 5 mins or until asparagus has softened slightly. Fold in radishes. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Arrange avocado slices on a large platter and top with asparagus mixture. Spoon remaining vinaigrette over salad. Sprinkle fetta and pistachios over and serve.


Poached chicken with asparagus & sesame


  • 3 x 170g chicken breast fillets
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 bunches asparagus, blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water, refreshed
  • 60g baby Asian salad leaves or mixed baby salad leaves 


Step 1

Place the chicken in a saucepan and pour over enough water to just cover. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cover with a lid. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and stand the chicken in the liquid for 10 minutes. Drain and thickly slice. Set aside.

Step 2 

Combine vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, spring onions and sesame seeds in a bowl and whisk to combine.


Step 3

Divide the asparagus, salad leaves and chicken among serving plates and drizzle with the dressing.


Asparagus and goats cheese frittata



  • 12 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1/2 cup thin cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
  • 20g butter
  • 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, diagonally cut into 3cm pieces
  • 100g goats cheese, crumbled


Step 1

Preheat grill on high. Whisk the eggs, cream and dill together in a medium bowl. Season well with salt and pepper.


Step 2

Melt the butter in a large (20cm base measurement) frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the leek and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until leek softens. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until bright green and tender but still crisp.


Step 3 

Pour egg mixture over the leek mixture in frying pan. Gently stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4-5 minutes or until frittata is almost set but the top is still runny. Remove from heat. Sprinkle the goats cheese evenly over the top.


Step 4 

Place the frying pan under preheated grill for 2 minutes or until frittata is set and top is lightly browned. Use a spatula to loosen the frittata and slide onto a clean work surface. Cut into wedges and place on serving plates. Serve immediately.



Tasty Taters

Throughout the Winter months yearning for some warm comfort food is a common occurrence in our home. And why wouldn’t it be? On a cold night there’s nothing better than lighting a crackling fire, pouring a nice glass of wine and cooking up a hearty meal. Ahhh , are you imagining it right now?

Prince Edward Island is known for their potatoes. In fact the province is the largest producer of spuds in Canada.

Potatoes fall into two important categories that impact the outcome of your dish: starchy and waxy (plus a category that lies somewhere in between those two).

Starchy: Like the classic Idaho or Russet, these potatoes are (obviously) high in starch and low in moisture. They’re fluffy, making them great for boiling, baking and frying, but they don’t hold their shape well, so they should be avoided in dishes like casseroles, gratins and potato salads.

Waxy: Like Red Bliss or New Potatoes, these have a low starch content and are often characterized by a creamy, firm and moist flesh that holds its shape well after cooking. They’re typically great for roasting, boiling, casseroles and potato salads.

All-Purpose: These potatoes have a medium starch content that fall somewhere in between the starchy and waxy potatoes. They’re a true multi-purpose potato, and therefore can be used for just about any cooking application. A classic example is the Yukon Gold.

Here are some classic potato recipes that you may enjoy.

Cheesy PEI Potato Croquettes

Cheesy Potato

  • 1kg Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 16 cherry bocconcini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
  • Tomato relish, to serve
  • Mayonnaise, to serve
  1. Place potato in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover. Cook on HIGH for 8 minutes or until tender. Mash until smooth. Stir in parmesan. Season. Cool 15 minutes.
  2. Shape 2 tablespoons of potato mixture around each bocconcini. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and parsley in a separate bowl. Dip potato in egg, then coat in breadcrumb mixture.
  3. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Cook croquettes for 5 minutes, turning, until golden all over. Drain on paper towel. Serve with relish, mayonnaise and extra parsley.
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PEI Potato Gnocchi

  • 1.5kg PEI Russet Potatos
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups (350g) plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • 1/2 qty hot roasted-tomato sugo (see related recipe)
  • Parmesan, to serve
  • Basil leaves, to serve





  1. Place potatoes in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, then cook for 15 minutes until tender. Drain, return to pan over low heat and toss for 1 minute to remove moisture.
  2. Cool slightly, then peel and pass through a potato ricer (from kitchenware shops) into a large bowl. Add nutmeg, eggs and 1 tablespoon salt, then sift in flour. Using hands, gently mix to a soft dough, adding a little extra flour if too sticky - don't overwork or gnocchi will be tough. Turn onto a floured bench and dust hands with flour. Take a cupful of dough, form into a log, then use a rolling pin to gently roll into a 2cm-thick rectangle. Use a sharp knife to cut into 2cm-wide strips, then cut strips into 2cm lengths. Place gnocchi on a flour-dusted tray in a single layer, then repeat with remaining dough. At this stage, you can set gnocchi aside, covered with a tea towel, for 2-3 hours until ready to cook.
  3. Cook gnocchi, in 2 batches, in a large pan of boiling salted water. As soon as they rise to the surface (30-60 seconds), remove to a tray with a slotted spoon. Toss briefly in a deep frypan with sugo. Serve immediately with parmesan and basil.


PEI Potato Chilli

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  • 3 medium Round White PEI Potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups (500 ml) Tomato Juice
  • 2 cups (500 ml) Vegetable Stock
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 2 small Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Celery Stalk, chopped
  • 1 Green or Red Pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 14 oz (398 ml) Kidney Beans
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Dried Green or Brown Lentils
  • 19 oz (540 ml) Chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) Oregano, dried
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) Basil, dried
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) Pepper
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) Yogurt, plain low fat (optional)
  • 19 oz (540 ml) Tomatoes, chopped


  1. Wash lentils. Drain and rinse chickpeas. 
  2. Combine all ingredients, except yogurt, in a heavy saucepan, cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender. 
  3. Dish into serving bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.