Spring is here. My favourite month – not just because it will be my birthday soon (and that means Cassoulet) but the perennials I thought I killed will start coming out and the produce just gets better and better.
Asparagus is a firm favourite of mine. As a child I used to adore the asparagus rolls my mother would make for catering. Tinned asparagus doesn’t seem so enticing now with the range available these days but they were pretty darn tasty.
If you are wondering about the white and purple asparagus. They are white due to no sunlight. They are kept in the dark whilst growing. Purple asparagus have a higher sugar content, it is only purple on the surface and green within.
10 small Nadine potatoes, washed and boiled whole with skins on with 2 fresh mint sprigs
4 white asparagus, blanched and cut into three
4 purple asparagus, blanched and cut into three
6 green asparagus, blanched and cut into three
10 slices prosciutto
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
3 large radishes, washed and thinly sliced
100 g chèvre
2 tbsp Italian parsley, roughly chopped
4 tbsp good quality aioli, preferably smoked garlic aioli
Toasted Honey Pine Nuts
75 g pine nuts
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
Pinch of sea salt
1 large eggplant, sliced into rounds
50 g butter
10 slices pancetta
Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
In a medium sized roasting dish drizzle oil in the base, lay the eggplant down and drizzle oil over the top. Dot butter and sprinkle over sea salt.
Roast for 30-40 minutes or until crispy and golden. Turn occasionally. Add more oil if they seem really dry.
For the honey pine nuts add the nuts to a small frypan over a medium heat. Once they begin to brown add the oil, honey and salt. Toss to combine.
Cook until sticky.
Set aside to cool.
If they stick together, gently just use a wooden spoon to break up.
In a small fry pan heat a little oil and add pancetta slices. Fry until crisp. Set aside.
In a large bowl toss together all the ingredients.
Arrange on a platter.