I was recently invited to Edgecombe Brothers in the Swan Valley to attend their Asparagus Masterclass. For those of you who haven’t yet been out for a visit, Edgecombe Bros is a gorgeous rustic winery and cafe on the corner of West Swan and Gnagara Road in Henley Brook. Owned and operated by the Edgecombe family since 1925, it is truly a beautiful piece of WA history where they grow much of their own produce that is then used in the restaurant with excess sometimes available for purchase (you gotta get in quick though!).
I love asparagus, but I refuse to buy it from overseas, so I get quite excited when it comes into season in WA. My kids roll their eyes when I get excited about new season veggies….but if you go out and taste this amazing produce, you will see what I mean!
So on a beautiful, crisp morning, I headed out to the winery with my lovely friend Lee Hughes of Nourish Me Now and Douglas Sutherland-Bruce, editor of Swan Magazine to learn all about asparagus. When we arrived, we were welcomed by Alf Edgecombe, who shared with us the Edgecombe family history and how they are currently using the property to grow the grapes they use in their beautiful wines and much of the fresh produce they use in the cafe. We were treated to delicious coffee and ANZAC biscuits and sat in the lovely sun looking out over the vines and Lake Yakine.
So what’s so special about asparagus?
Asparagus comes into season in Spring and is packed with vitamins B and C, potassium, iron and antioxidants, it’s quite a superfood! It’s easy to grow and as it has very few pests, there is no need for pesticides. It’s also really simple to cook and tastes delicious!
But before we get to eat these yummy spears, we needed to pick them. We wandered across the road, armed with steak knives and a crate, to an unassuming patch of dirt, that from the road looks empty. Upon closer inspection, we can start to see the asparagus spears sticking up from the dirt. Alf showed us what we needed to do, and we were off! Cutting down the perfect green stalks until we had enough to take back to the cafe for our lunch.
So with our crate full of delicious, fresh produce, we headed back to the cafe to watch Alf prepare the asparagus for our lunch. While we waited, we sat in the warm sun and were treated to a taste of Edgecombe Bros wines which were absolutely beautiful.
Once again, we had to work for our supper, so Alf showed us how to snap the asparagus spears. Once this gruelling work was done (yes, sitting in the sunshine in the Swan Valley sipping wine is very gruelling work….), Alf lit up the BBQ and popped the asparagus into some salted water until it was just cooked (al dente), then transferred the spears into a pan of olive oil (Edgecombe Bros olive oil of course…) and then served them up. We sprinkled the spears with shaved parmesan and cracked pepper and they were absolutely delicious.
And the best bit? Well, while I am a huge fan of asparagus, I am an even huger (bigger?) fan of chocolate and what Alf bought us next was divine!
Little chocolate turtles (Edgecombe’s logo) with a filling of muscat soaked, house dried figs!! Alf was sweet enough to give me three extras to take home…. for the kids….they may not have noticed them…. hubby and I may have eaten them when they went to bed…..
So, it was a beautiful day and I highly recommend anyone in Perth or heading to Perth to head out to the Swan Valley and pop into Edgecombe Brothers for a meal or book into the asparagus masterclass and learn all about this delcious vegetable.
For more details….
The Asparagus Master Class itinerary includes :
– a welcome coffee or tea plus homemade ANZAC biscuits;
– a walk to the asparagus patch, a short talk about asparagus cultivation and harvesting of the produce required for lunch;
– the preparation and cooking of the asparagus for lunch in the cafe;
– a small, tutoured wine tasting during lunch;
– coffee or tea with dessert of Edgecombe Estate-grown chocolate-coated figs; and
– recipes, a starter pack of 250g of asparagus and an asparagus plant to take home.
Please visit the Accommodation and Tours page and enter your preferred date and party numbers to book your place in the class. Edgecombe Brothers can be contacted on (08) 9296 4307 (between 10.00am and 5.00pm only) should you have further queries.
The Asparagus Masterclass runs from September 1st – December 11 2015.