Fresh low food mile Torbay asparagus from down south Albany is a perfect choice when looking for in season easy to prepare food.  And why not read on to see how Margaret River Gourmet Escape’s Rick Stein and special guest, Nigella Lawson use asparagus as a highlight ingredient.

We all love fresh ingredients and we all love local right?  Well our latest and greatest in season fresh vegetable at The Garden Basket is Torbay asparagus.  Grab a bunch now as a delicious addition to weekend breakfast cook-ups, pasta lunches and even as asparagus curry. Our vegetarians and vegan customers will be stoked to see this on our Station Road store shelves.

And to help out with some creative ideas we thought why not draw some inspiration from Margaret River Gourmet Escapes seasoned festival favourite Rick Stein and leading lady in 2016, Nigella Lawson.  Only two of over 50 culinary superstars that will indulge in gourmet food and famous Margaret River wines across the famed weekend.  We discovered that asparagus is one ingredient they both love fresh and as Ricks recipe highlights one that when cooked into a curry is well matched with a beer!

In Rick Steins Far Eastern Odyssey cook book he tells how this ‘Asparagus Curry’ was created at the request of an asparagus grower who knew a beer called Chalky’s Bark was being brewed for his Seafood restaurant in Padstow.  Why not ask for your produce to be matched to the beer?  Rick does suggest to use asparagus a few weeks into the new season after enjoying the freshness of the first few weeks in simpler ways.


  • 4 x 175 bunches of asparagus
  • 2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 3 x 5cm pieces of pandan leaf
  • 200g onions, halved & thinly sliced
  • 25g peeled ginger, finely grated
  • 1 green cayenne chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Unroasted Sri Lankan curry powder
  • 250 g vione ripened tomato, chopped
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 10g Maldives fish flakes or bonito flakes
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)


Break each asparagus stalk near its base to dispose of the woody part. Cut remainder into 2.5cm lengths.

Heat the oil in a medium sized shallow pan over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick, curry leaves and pandan leaf and leave them to sizzle for a few seconds, then add the onion and fry until soft and just beginning to brown.  Add the ginger, green chilli, chilli powder, turmeric and curry powder and fry for 2-3 minutes more.

Add the tomato and fry for 2 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons water, reduce the heat to simmer and leave to cook for another 2 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down into a sauce. Stir in the coconut milk and Maldive fish or bonito flakes salt and simmer for 5 minutes until the asparagus is tender. Stir in the lime juice and serve.

For Nigella’s recipe Pasta Salad Primavera that includes asparagus see the full recipe and method here.  It is featured in her book FEAST with a wonderful array of fresh greens, chives, lemon and infused garlic oil.

And with the Margaret River Gourmet Escape only a month away why not check the Gourmet Escape website and see the local talent appearing in the program and the international collaborations across the region.  As proud suppliers once again in 2016 of the Gourmet Village, satellite and fringe events you will be tasting locally farmed low food mile produce from Western Australia as it appears in each of the festival menus.