This is a simple and gorgeous way to serve fresh Irish asparagus during its short season.

Ingredients

We feast on it in every possible way for those precious weeks, roast, chargrilled, in soups, frittatas, quiches. Don't forget to dip some freshly cooked spears in a soft boiled egg for a simple luxury.

Serves 4

  • 16-20 spears fresh green asparagus
  • Hollandaise Sauce, (see recipe)
  • 4 slices of homemade white yeast bread
  • Butter
  • Garnish
  • Sprigs of chervil


Sea Kale on Toast

Serves 4-6

  • 450g sea kale
  • 50-75g butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Hold each spear of asparagus over your index finger down near the root end, it will snap at the point where it begins to get tough. Some people like to peel the asparagus but we rarely do.
  2. Cook in about 2.5cm (1inch) of boiling salted water in an oval cast iron casserole. Cook for 4 or 8 minutes or until a knife tip will pierce the root end easily.
  3. Meanwhile make the toast, spread with butter and remove crusts. Place a piece of toast on a hot plate, put the asparagus on top and spoon a little Hollandaise sauce over.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of chervil and serve immediately.

Sea Kale on Toast

  1. Wash the sea kale gently and trim into manageable lengths - about 10cm Bring about 600ml water to a fast rolling boil, add one teaspoon salt.
  2. Pop in the sea kale, cover and boil until tender - 5 to 15 minutes depending on thickness.
  3. Just as soon as a knife will pierce the sea kale easily, drain it and then serve on hot plates with a little melted butter and perhaps a few small triangles of toast. At the beginning of its short season in April we serve it as a first course on hot toast with melted butter or Hollandaise sauce.