We are well into asparagus season so I thought I’d share our favorite recipe this year as so many of you got asparagus this week. Like most of finer things in life simplicity is the way forward (I know I say this a lot but it is!!!).
A simple steaming, followed by a drizzle of olive oil or some butter, crushed Maldon…………… yum! Chop up your spears and toss them with pasta and Parmesan and a squirt of lemon for the ultimate in Italian refinement. Have them for breakfast week with eggs…….all they need is a creamy foil to really come alive.
I have a taste for the charred which I got years ago from a chef I worked with in Barcelona and I often cook my asparagus this way.
Use a griddle pan getting it nice and hot. Add the asparagus turning them when they char. This takes a minute or two depending how hot the pan is. When you have your snazzy stripes, add a little oil and some crushed Maldon salt and shake the pan vigorously. Turn down the heat a bit and cover for a minute and allow the asparagus to steam a little and cook a bit more which should get them nicely al dente.
After this, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and a spritz of lemon juice on them then some shavings of a nice hard cheese. Parmesan or Pecorino are obvious choices but a nicely matured Manchego also works really well. You don’t need loads just a little bit to add interest. As is it’s a picky starter to have while dinner is coming. This week’s recipe is what you do when you’ve got more people around and/or you want a proper starter. Serve the asparagus on a bed of Marc Michel’s amazing mixed leaves and add chopped walnuts and honey to the dressing. Simple but really gorgeous and well worth doing to showcase one of summer’s most popular varieties………….
A salad of char-grilled asparagus with aged Manchego on a bed of Wicklow leaves with a Walnut lemon dressing
A bunch of asparagus
100gr mixed leaves – washed, dried and ready to go.
40gr aged Manchego (or Parmesan) shavings
For the dressing:
4 tablespoons olive oil
The juice of ½ lemon
A handful walnuts
A teaspoon of runny honey
Chop half the walnuts quite finely and the other half into small pieces and set aside for later.
Trim the tough ends of the asparagus – usually about an inch is more than enough. Heat a griddle pan. Add the asparagus and griddle until stripes appear then turn over and griddle on the other side. When both sides are done, add a little olive oil and a crushed Maldon to the pan and toss over the heat for a minute before turning down the heat and covering. Allow the asparagus to cook for another 2 minutes before removing them from the heat.
Make the dressing by whisking the olive oil with the lemon juice, honey and the more finely chopped nuts and a pinch of crushed Maldon. Lay the asparagus on the salad leaves and scatter the shaving of cheese on top.
Drizzle the dressing over this then add the remaining more coarsely chopped nuts. Serve with some crusty bread and sunshine 😉
Have a brilliant weekend,