22 November 2012

In Season: Lemon & Mint Asparagus Peas & Spinach & Taste Auckland

Last week I was lucky enough to be at the opening of Taste of Auckland on what was a light, almost warm Spring evening.  After a glass of bubbly & few canapés it was time taste, & taste Gourmet Gannet & I did.  It really was tale of 2 little piggies off to a little slice (or quite a few slices) of foodie heaven.  So many tasty morsels to choose from.

Our favourite of the evening was the food on offer at The Commons, Nick Honeyman is a bit of genius when it comes to flavours & textures & in the end we went on try all 3 plates on offer here. The Penang duck curry was sweet with just a little heat...however it was the carrot cake snapper & the Valrohna & violet desserts that were the stand outs.

The carrot snake snapper was the dish that jumped out for me as the must try, maybe it was after the wonderful carrots I had here or quite possibly the beignet....that would be a spiced beignet with carrot puree, baby carrots, ginger & lemon olive oil alongside the snapper.

And then dessert...exceptional.  It would be hard to go wrong with Valrohna chocolate, but very easy to overpower with violet.  This was just wonderful, rich chocolate mousse, or delice if I am being proper, with a violet ice cream & violet meringue shard. The violet just the right note of floral.

Another standout was Kermedec, the Fare game venison perfectly cooked.  It was served with kowiniwini, fern curd, blackberry & malt soil.  A quite delectable little plate of flavours & textures.  What are kowiniwini I hear you ask? They would be lovely little purple and white striped NZ heritage potatoes.

But before we got there our first taste at Taste was at Molten.  It really was Spring on a plate, the tender slow roasted Savannah short rib just falling apart with white anchovy, eggplant puree & new season peas, lemon & fior de latte .... & what led to this little side alongside my Sunday supper.

Lemon & Mint Asparagus Peas & Spinach


2 tbsp butter
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends snapped off, cut in 1’ / 2cm pieces
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch minted, chopped
Salt & Pepper


Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and then add the asparagus, spinach and peas.  Sauté for a few minutes until the spinach has wilted and the asparagus & peas are just cooked but retain a little crunch.

Add the zest & juice of one lemon, stir through the mint, season with salt & pepper & serve. Bright, fresh & green, a little sweet, a little zesty & a little butter just makes everything taste better.

This my side for the week, full of Spring green goodness.  Perfect on the side of some grilled salmon or alongside some chicken or lamb.

If you like this you might like this Monachyle Mor & Scotland in the Spring



  1. What beautiful photos and what an exquisite event! I love attending events like this, especially my husband as we, too, enjoy being two little piggies ;-) Your perfect side dish makes me yearn for spring.

    1. Such a great event.....& always so much fun to be a little piggie!

  2. Gorgeous, Mairi! A light, flavorful dish such as this sounds so appealing after a weekend of Thanksgiving eating.


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