Monday, 16 May 2011

Asparagus, olives & sundried tomatoes loaf

To celebrate last year's asparagus season and our fist picnic after long winter I made these asparagus & cheddar muffins and later using the same basic recipe but swapping cheddar for feta and asparagus for sun dried tomatoes I made these muffins for our picnic. This year I finally decided to make asparagus loaf that I found in "Good Food" two years ago.

It is a shame that I waited so long! I am ready now to pack our picnic basket and go somewhere nice, even this was only rehearsal before our first picnic this year. Again, I am going to experiment with different seasonal ingredients, when asparagus is gone. It seems like an ideal snack if you are planning long journey - it is quite handy to eat it in a car instead of boring sandwiches.

I did not follow the recipe, so this is mine after some alterations.

Makes one small tin, 22x10x5cm

bunch of green asparagus, about 250g, cut into 3 pieces, wooden parts removed
250g self raising flour
few basil leaves, roughly torn
100ml milk
4 small eggs
100ml olive oil
tsp English mustard
handful of black olives, whole, pitted
8 halves of sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper
about 60g of mature cheddar, coarsely grated

Heat the oven to 170 C (fan) and line the tin with lightly greased baking paper.

Cook the asparagus in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes, drain, then cool quickly under cold running water to stop them from further cooking and to keep nice colour . Then pat dry.

Mix the eggs with milk, olive oil and mustard.

Mix the flour, basil with salt and pepper in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the eggs, milk and oil, mixing gently all the time. Beat to make a smooth batter without any dry flour remaining.

Next add most of the asparagus and olives (reserving some to finish off the top), sun dried tomatoes and half of the grated cheese. Mix gently.

Pour the mixture into the tin, then put the reserved asparagus and olives on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 40 minutes until it feels firm to the touch and is golden and crusty on top. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

This loaf is moist, delicious hot or cold. It is perfect snack to complement clear soups such as beetroot soup or nice broth. Next time I will try to use spelt flour instead, as it has nice nutty flavour.


  1. THis looks absolutely lovely. I'm not a huge fan of sundried tomatoes, so I think I would try marinated artichokes, or even green olives in this loaf.

  2. That looks scrummy! So many soups and salads call out for fresh bread, and are all too often eaten with whatever is to hand. Never thought of asparagus in bread, I must admit.

  3. Greedyrosie, I think marinated artichokes sound delicious! What a great idea. I hope I will try it one day. :)

    Lizzie, I have seen asparagus in bread before, however this one is not a proper bread. No yeast, it is more like a pond cake, to be quite honest. Anyway - it is, without any doubt one of the best things I ate in my life. :)

    Thank you both for your comments! All the best!

  4. Has anyone converted this yummy recipe from Metric Measurements! Thank You!


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