James Street South Cookery School: Asparagus and stilton tart, flank steak with portobello mushrooms

Niall McKenna's asparagus and stilton tart

THIS week's recipes are two tasty, simple suppers which anyone can make at home.

Asparagus is a delicious and versatile vegetable which is currently in season and this tart dish is a fantastic way to use it.

You will likely be seeing a lot of asparagus on restaurant menus over the coming weeks as chefs best use of it while they can.

The steak can be easily thrown together with little or no notice and provides a moreish supper for the whole family to enjoy using very simple ingredients. My best tip for this is let the steak rest before slicing.


(Serves 4)

20 asparagus spears

1 packet of readymade puff pastry

250g stilton or local Young Buck blue cheese


Start by preheating your oven to 200C. Trim off the woody ends of the asparagus and discard; place spears in a pot of boiling water and cook for three minutes until just tender.

Roll out the puff pastry, maintaining its rectangular shape, until it is large enough to fit the asparagus on to it. Once large enough, score a line 2cm round the edge of the pastry, making sure you do not cut through the pastry. Place the pastry on to a greased baking tray.

Lay the asparagus top to toe on the puff pastry and crumble the blue cheese over the top. Place in the oven for 10 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden.


(Serves 4)

800g flank steak, 5cm thick

Flaky sea salt and black pepper

Olive oil

4 handfuls of rocket leaves

8 large Portobello mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 handful chervil, chopped

1 handful pine nuts, toasted on dry frying pan until coloured

Start by generously seasoning the steak with olive oil, salt and pepper and cooking on a frying pan. For this dish I prefer the meat to be as cooked rare or medium rare. Cook on both sides and then leave aside to rest.

Wash the rocket; dry off and place in a bowl with a few drizzles of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the rocket on the plates. In the same frying pan you cooked the steak, add a couple of drops of olive oil and place on the heat,; add the chopped garlic and half of the chopped parsley and the mushrooms, turning and taking off the heat once they are soft.

Place the mushrooms on top of the rocket, slice the steak thinly and place on top of the mushroom. Dress with the chervil, remaining parsley and pine nuts and a last drizzle of olive oil.

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