Home Food & Recipes The Happy Pear: Spring Veg With Asparagus

The Happy Pear: Spring Veg With Asparagus

by The Happy Pear

We always love to drool over The Happy Pear’s offerings … and this season was no different, as we read the recipe they shared with us for our Spring 2020 issue: a delicious spring veg casserole with asparagus. Read on to learn all about it!

Tuck into Spring Tastes

Spring veg casserole with asparagus

This is the perfect seasonal change dish: a quick, easy comforting bake, but with the delicious fresh flavours of spring, containing mint, zesty lemon and asparagus. The basis of this dish is a creamy leek and sweet potato stew topped with asparagus and a herbed breadcrumb topping. It’s a great dish to add to your weekly repertoire, as it will help you eat more veg in a very delicious manner.

Serves 4-6 

Takes 45 mins to make

For Veg Mix

1 large red onion 130g 

3 cloves garlic

1 red chilli

1 large leek 300g

2 courgettes 400g

200g broccoli

700g sweet potato 

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ lemon

15g mint 

Pinch salt

170g of fresh asparagus

1 tbsp oil

250ml of veg stock

2 tbsp of tamari

For Breadcrumb

100g  bread crumbs (use GF is coeliac)

10g Fresh thyme

1  tbsp oil

Béchamel sauce

350ml oat milk 

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp white flour

pinch salt

pinch ground nutmeg

2 tbsp nutritional yeast


1. Chop the onion, garlic and chilli finely. Chop the leek (ensure to cut the leek lengthwise and wash any sediment that can often hide in the centre), chop the courgette and sweet potato into small bite size pieces, then chop the broccoli into small florets and the stalk into fine pieces. Remove the mint from its stalk and roughly chop. Remove any woody hard bases from the asparagus (if it’s new season UK asparagus, it normally is all delicious!)

2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees

3. In a large oven proof frying pan or saucepan, add 1 tbsp of oil and allow to heat up on high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned/charred. Remove and set aside for later.

4. Add another 1 tbsp of oil to the pan, then add the onion, garlic and chilli, and fry for 3 minutes. Next, add sweet potato first as it takes the longest to cook, along with a generous pinch of salt. Then add the leek, courgette, broccoli and give it all a good mix, put the lid on and leave to stew for 10 mins, stirring occasionally.

5. Once the sweet potato is soft and cooked, remove the lid and mix through, ensuring to include any charring at the bottom of the pan. Zest in the zest of the lemon and then add in the juice of ½ the lemon, along with the chopped mint.

6. In a separate pot, turn on high heat. Once hot, reduce to a medium heat, add 3 tbsp of oil, sieve in 3 tbsp of white flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add a pinch of salt, black pepper and pinch of nutmeg mix and the 350ml of oat milk. Whisk continuously, allowing the mixture to come to the boil. As it comes to the boil, it should start to thicken. Remove from the heat and add the nutritional yeast.

7. Add the béchamel into the pan with the veg, along with 250ml of veg stock and 2 tbsp tamari. Mix well.

8. In a small bowl, add the fresh thyme to the bread crumbs and 1 tbsp of oil. Mix well and sprinkle on top of the casserole.

9. Cut the sautéed asparagus in half and scatter on top of the veg and béchamel, then add the breadcrumb.

10. Bake at 200 degrees for 10-15 mins, or until nice and golden. Share with loved ones and enjoy!


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