from one generation to the next
The arrival of locally grown new season’s asparagus is like a billboard announcing the demise of winter. As the weather slowly warms, the first purple tipped, green spindly spears transform into more robust asparagus, the flavour improves and the price drops.
Asparagus has a natural affinity with so many other flavours: salt, butter, cream and cheese, prosciutto, bacon and pancetta, chicken, fish and eggs, potatoes, capers and toasted nuts, oranges and lemon.
For this salad I chose salty capers, lively lemon zest and toasty hazelnuts to enhance my lightly cooked asparagus. The dressing is multilayered lemon, the deep and zesty tang of seasoned lemon infused olive oil and freshly squeezed juice.
400g fresh asparagus spears
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons roasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons capers
sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon infused olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
Trim the tough ends off the asparagus.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the asparagus for 3 minutes.
Drain, then refresh in iced in water.
Oven roast the hazelnuts until golden.
Allow them to cool then wrap the nuts in a clean tea towel and rub off the skins. Chop the nuts roughly.
Use a zesting tool to remove the zest from the lemon.
Drain rinse and squeeze dry the capers.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.
Arrange on a serving plate.
Taste the dressing and season to taste.