I am able to get fresh, inexpensive asparagus in the springtime from Clive, my local greengrocer. Clive knows all his customers by name and is always happy to make suggestions or to order a hard-to-find ingredient for a recipe. The following recipe is a wonderful way to use asparagus, but it works just as well without. Just leave out the spears and call it "Rarebit."


For 2 as a light meal

1 bunch of asparagus (or as much as you can afford) either boiled or steamed from fresh or tinned.

225g/8oz cheese (Cheddar, Stilton, or a mixture of your favourite)

30g/1oz butter

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon English mustard (I practically keep Coleman's in business.)

2 tablespoons beer

4 slices of toast

Grate or crumble the cheese and mix to a rough paste with the butter, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and beer. Lay the asparagus spears over the toast (buttered or unbuttered) and spread the cheese mixture on top. Grill for a minute or so, till it melts and goes bubbly.


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