The delicate flavour of white asparagus shines when it is cooked lightly and simply as in this easy-to-prepare chicken dish.
White asparagus has a slightly more delicate flavour than green. It's great simply cooked in vegetable stock, roasted in butter, with lemon and brown shrimp and it pairs wonderfully with spring cabbage and pine nuts. Make sure you remove the inedible woody stalks, and any fibrous layers from the bottom.
½ head of spring cabbage
1 bunch white aspargus (about 10 spears)
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
8 chicken pieces
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs thyme
20ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp pine nuts
Remove the root from the cabbage and cut the rest into strips. Snap the stalks from the asparagus (as you bend the spears, they will break at the woody part).
Add the oil to a large saucepan, season the chicken and brown both sides on a medium heat.
Add the garlic and thyme and saute for a couple of minutes before adding the stock, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Just before the chicken is cooked, boil a pan of water, blanch the cabbage for a couple of minutes and add it to the chicken.
Do the same with the asparagus for about 4 minutes, checking it has softened, and add it too.
Toss the vegetables so they are mixed through with the chicken and serve with the pine nuts sprinkled on top.
• Angela Hartnett is chef patron at Murano restaurant and consults at the Whitechapel Gallery and Dining Room, London. Twitter.com/angelahartnett
Angela Hartnett's chicken with with white asparagus. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian