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The Millstone at Mellor

AA five star Inn

In the breathtaking Ribble Valley, discover the elegant and charming Millstone at Mellor. Dine on award winning cuisine, sleep in the comfiest beds and experience the warmest of welcomes.

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Awesome Asparagus Fest

12 May 2014
25 May 2014
26th Mar - 26th Mar

Asparagus Fest comes to Mellor. There’ll be not one or two, but a whole ten English asparagus dishes on the specials board every single day.

5 simple ways to serve asparagus

  1. Griddled asparagus and garlic butter. Simply brush the spears in olive oil, place on a hot griddle pan until grill marks appear and smother with garlic butter.
  2. Asparagus spears and Hollandaise sauce. The classic way to serve your points d’amour. Steam the spears and serve with a dipping pot of Hollandaise sauce.
  3. Parma ham, asparagus spears and Hollandaise sauce. Wrap 3 spears in a piece of Parma ham and griddle as above, served with Hollandaise.
  4. Boiled Goosnargh Duck egg with buttered asparagus soilders. Soft boiled duck egg using hot asparagus instead of toast for the dipping soldiers.
  5. Classic asparagus spears. Add shaved Parmesan, sea salt and ground pepper – as simple as it sounds.

Choosing, preparing and cooking your asparagus

The tips should be tightly furled and perky whilst the shoot should be firm and straight, the base of the stem tends to be a little woody and is best discarded or kept for soup – simply bend the asparagus and when it snaps, retain the top part. For presentation the lower part can be peeled, though it is not essential.

To cook simply simmer in boiling salted water with a squirt of lemon juice. Do not over-cook, the asparagus should be firm to the bite. When cooked plunge in some iced water this stops the cooking process and keeps the spears crisp and tender.

The humble asparagus spear – a true delicacy of the vegetable world

Grown all around the world with China and Peru being the leading exporters, it is however, like many other provisions, the British that is renowned around the globe for producing the best asparagus available. From May to July Great British asparagus growers really do take all the limelight.

The finest texture and the strongest and yet most delicate taste is in the tips. The points d’amour ‘love tips’ which were served as a delicacy to Madame de Pompadour Chief Mistress of Louis XV and champion of French Pride.

Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus and Blacksticks Blue Cheese Risotto

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 400g Arborio rice
  • 12 asparagus spears
  • 75g Blacksticks Blue cheese or any other good quality blue cheese
  • 1 very finely diced onion
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1ltr vegetable stock
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1tbsp olive oil

Prepare and cook the asparagus spears, finely slice the ends of the spears and retain the tops for garnishing. Gently fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil, add the rice and lightly fry until the rice is coated in olive oil. Add the wine and reduce, then add the stock – 250ml at a time stirring and reducing all the time.

When the rice is al-dente remove from the heat and add the cheese. Correct the seasoning – the to serve sprinkle the asparagus tips on top of the risotto, finish with some shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

Asparagus Frittata, Rocket and Pesto salad

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 3 whisked eggs
  • 3 asparagus spears
  • handful of rocket 1tbsp pesto

Homemade Pesto ingredients

  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 30g Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to season

Blend the pesto ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Prepare the asparagus, slicing the base and retaining the spears for the salad.

Mix the eggs with the finely sliced asparagus stems, place in a hot skillet pan and bake in a hot over for 3 or 4 minutes until the egg is cooked through. Toss the rockets with the asparagus tips and pesto and serve on top of the frittata.

Herb-roasted Salmon Fillet, Potato rosti, Buttered asparagus spears and Pernod cream

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 6oz salmon fillets
  • 6 medium sized peeled and grated potatoes (preferably Maris Piper)
  • 1 handful mixed chopped soft herbs (dill, parsley, mint, coriander)
  • 16 asparagus spears
  • 1 egg
  • 1 very finely diced shallot
  • 25ml Pernod
  • 200ml double cream
  • 50g chilled butter cut into dice
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices lemon

Coat the salmon fillets with the chopped herbs and olive oil, place a slice of lemon on each piece then have ready to roast on a tray. Season the grated potato and mix with an egg, divide the potatoes into four rounds ready to fry. Prepare the asparagus ready to griddle. Lightly fry the shallot, add the Pernod and flambĂ©, when all the alcohol has been burnt off add the double cream and bring to the boil, to finish the sauce stir in the butter. Place the rosti potatoes in a hot frying pan and colour each side. Then finish in the over for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius – at this stage the salmon and rosti are roasting griddle the asparagus. To assemble – place the asparagus on the base of the plate with the rosti next to them, lay the salmon on top and sauce around the side.

Chilled asparagus soup, Spring onion and goat’s cheese bruschetta

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 1kg asparagus
  • 250g potatoes
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 chopped leek (just the green)
  • 1ltr vegetable stock
  • 8 thick slices French baguette
  • 2 bunches of finely chopped Spring onion
  • 400g crumbled goat’s cheese
  • 1tbsp chopped soft herbs

Roughly chop the stems and keep the tips on the asparagus for presentation later. Fry the onion, leek and garlic, add the potatoes, asparagus and stock and simmer until all ingredients are soft. Place in a food processor (a smoothie blender is great for soups) and blend until smooth, pass through a sieve then chill.

For the bruschetta rub the sliced French bread with garlic, season with a little rock salt and herbs, drizzle with olive oil then dry until crisp. Mix the Spring onion, goat’s cheese and herbs together and carefully place on top of the bruschetta, then garnish with the asparagus tips. Simply serve on a hot Spring day in a bowl with the bruschetta on the side.

Asparagus and Smoked Trout Quiche

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 1 30cm savoury pastry flan
  • 18 asparagus tips
  • 1/2 very finely diced onion
  • 7 eggs
  • 6 flaked smoked trout fillets
  • 1 pint of milk
  • 1/2 pint of double cream
  • Salt and pepper

Blind bake the pastry flan if starting with ready-made pastry – or cheat and buy one ready-baked. Fry the onion and evenly sprinkle across the base of the baked pastry, along with the asparagus tips and smoked trout. Whisk the milk, cream and eggs together and sieve.

Pour the custard mix over the onion, trout and asparagus tips and carefully place in a hot 180 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the custard mix sets. Chill and serve ideally with a crispy tossed green salad and a pint of Thwaites Wainwright ale.

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