Thursday, 28 April 2011
One of the things I love most about Spring . . . next to the sunny days, flowers, rhubarb, bumbley bees and blue skies . . . is fresh aspagagus!!
I could eat it every night of the week and never get tired of it. I know you can get it all year round, but I prefer to only eat English Asparagus . . . in season. Nothing tastes better in all the earth.
It hasn't spent weeks being Shipped and held in warehouses before it reaches the shop shelves. In most cases it's only just been picked within a few days or so. The flavour is incredible!
Of course it would be even better if I had Asparagus growing in my back garden, but alas . . . I don't and so I buy it at the shops.
I just adore it roasted until it is crispy tender . . . the flavour is beautiful, and when you toss it with a tasty lemon, honey and mustard vinaigrette, some toasted almonds and flaked Parmesan Cheese, you have something very special indeed!
*Roasted Aspagarus Salad with Parmesan and a Lemon Vinaigrette*
A stunning springtime favourite with a delicious honey lemon vinaigrette dressing, shaved Parmesan cheese and crunchy toasted almonds!
For the vinaigrette:
2 lemons, halved crosswise
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 shallot, peeled and finely minced
125ml extra virgin olive oil (1/2 cup)
1 to 2 TBS liquid honey
fine seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad:
2 pounds of fresh aspagarus, trimmed of woody ends and
the points on the stems trimmed off
(They have a tendancy to be bitter at times)
50ml of extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 ounces flaked almonds, toasted
7 ounces of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shaved
Heat your oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Toss the trimmed asparagus together with the olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Place into the heated oven and roast for about 12 minutes, until crispy tender.
While the asparagus is roasting make the dressing. Juice the lemons into a bowl, making sure you don't have any pips. Whisk in the shallots, honey and Dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the roasted Asparagus between six serving plates in a decorative way. Drizzle each with some of the vinaigrette, drizzling some on the plate as well. Sprinkle with the nuts and shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately.