Asparagus

The British Asparagus season is here! You will be seeing these delicious spears, sprouting up at your local farmer’s markets, farm shops and adorning the supermarket shelves. The season may only be 8 weeks long, but these versatile veggies can be cooked in several ways. Here is a quick suggestion for a light lunch or a delicious side:

Warm Asparagus Salad with Duck Egg by Orlando Murrin

Serves 6

Ingredients:
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
3 duck eggs (or 5 large hen’s eggs)
500g asparagus spears
50g hazelnuts, toasted and crushed

Dressing:
3 tbsp hazelnut oil
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp smooth French mustard

Grill the bacon until crisp and cut into pieces. Cook the eggs in boiling water for 8 minutes (5 minutes for hen’s eggs, then plunge into cold water to stop the yokes cooking further.

To make the dressing, whisk together the ingredients and season. Prepare the asparagus by bending the base and this will then break at the tender point – do not through the woody stalk away as these can be used – see below.

Warm the nuts and bacon in a warm oven before serving. Halve the eggs and season. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the asparagus for 5 minutes until just tender. Drain, then divide between the plates. Add the egg halves, sprinkle with bacon and nuts and then drizzle with the dressing and enjoy.

Don’t waste the woody ends but instead use these flavoursome stalks to infuse a cream sauce and remove before enjoying a delicious creamy pasta dinner.

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