Asparagus season has officially started for this year! And we're so pleased, as asparagus are one of our favourite vegetables. They're incredibly versatile as they can be blanched, grilled, roasted and when thinly shaved, even served raw.

How do you best store and clean asparagus?
In the refrigerator asparagus have a shelf life of about 7 days, in a damp tea towel (to prevent drying out) it's 1 to 3 days. Asparagus can also be frozen. Before freezing, the asparagus should be washed and peeled (there is no need to blanche them). When you want to use the asparagus, place them straight from the freezer into a pan of boiling water.

To give you some inspiration, here are 2 of our recipes using asparagus. Go out and get some now!

Green Salad

Asparagus and Turnip Greens Pasta

Crop Lettuce

A summer salad tastes best when fresh lettuce used. And crop lettuce is  always fresh! Unlike other vegetables, crop lettuce cannot be frozen, dried or preserved. It is best to buy the lettuce as a full head and not to cut it too small; by tearing and cutting the leaves, nutrients are lost. Crop lettuce is available throughout the year in the Netherlands; in the summer from the open fields and the rest of the year from the greenhouse. This lettuce is traditionally grown and harvested by hand.

High in fiber, vitamins, iron and water and low in calories, crop lettuce is a healthy choice. There are different types of crop lettuce. Butter lettuce is perhaps the most well known; a variety that owes its name to it's delicious, mild flavour. Other types of crop lettuce  include oak leaf lettuce, Lollo Biondo and Lollo Rosso (red variety).

Crop lettuce is a good basis for a quick and easy lunch or meal; just pick the leaves of the crop, possibly adding a dressing and some other ingredients and you're done, If the leaves becoming a bit limp don't throw them away. Put the leaves briefly in a bowl of water with ice cubes to refresh them and bring them back to life.  The lettuce can also be used in warm dishes, for example through potato puree or to make lettuce soup.