Per­fect time for pick-your-own as­para­gus

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FOOD AND DRINK -

Salt and freshly ground black pep­per 12 as­para­gus spears, trimmed 200g/7oz hol­landaise sauce Hand­ful fresh sor­rel leaves 2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced

thinly Fresh basil 1 beef tomato Pur­ple cress, to gar­nish

For the muffins:

1 egg 125g/4 1/2oz plain flour ¼ tsp bak­ing pow­der 50ml/2fl oz milk 40g/1 /12oz grated parme­san 2 tbsp olive oil Sea salt 4 sprigs fresh rose­mary, leaves only,

chopped

Method:

Pre­heat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4 and lightly grease 2 muf­fin moulds. Mix all the muf­fin in­gre­di­ents to­gether and spoon the mix­ture into the pre­pared moulds. Bake in the pre­heated oven for 15 min­utes, or un­til golden brown. Re­move and

set aside. Thinly slice the beef tomato, place on an oiled and sea­soned tray and place overnight in the oven on ap­prox­i­mately 30°C (or place in an air­ing cup­board overnight) un­til the tomato be­comes dry and crispy. Place the fresh basil into a small blen­der and blend with 10ml of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pour over the sliced spring onions and

mix. Clean, rinse and cut the wild mush­rooms. Heat a lit­tle oil in a pan, add the shal­lot and mush­rooms and cook un­til soft­ened but not browned. Add the chopped chives and sea­son with salt and freshly ground black pep­per. Bring a large pan of wa­ter to the boil, add the as­para­gus and blanch for ap­prox­i­mately four min­utes then drain and add to the mush­room mix. Cut each muf­fin into four equal-sized

slices and toast on both sides. Put the hol­landaise into a bowl and

stir in the chopped sor­rel. Place two toasted slices of muf­fin in the mid­dle of each plate. Top each one with three as­para­gus spears and spoon the mush­room mix over and around. Spoon over the hol­landaise sauce, gar­nish with the spring onion oil and some pur­ple cress, place the sliced beef tomato on top and serve straight away.

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