Country Living (UK)



Preparatio­n 20 minutes Cooking 10 minutes Serves 4 These green spears look so beautiful served on the table – and the combinatio­n of the roasted asparagus with the egg flecked on top, finished with the sweet, citrusy flavours of the lemon and basil in the dressing, is so delicious. The eggs and dressing can be prepared the day before, so it’s quite an easy starter to pull together.

20 asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed 1 tbsp olive oil 2 hard-boiled eggs FOR THE DRESSING juice of 1 lemon 1 tbsp finely chopped shallot 1 tbsp torn basil leaves 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper 80ml extra-virgin olive oil

1 Preheat the oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan oven) gas mark 4.

2 Toss the asparagus spears in the olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, or roast on a hot griddle pan over a high heat for 5 minutes, turning often so that they are evenly cooked.

3 For the dressing, whisk the lemon juice, shallot, basil and mustard together in a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Then add the extra-virgin olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly.

4 Shell and halve the eggs, then push through a medium-mesh sieve into another small bowl or finely chop.

5 Toss the asparagus spears with 1 tbsp of the dressing in a large bowl, then divide the dressed asparagus between four plates. Spoon the remaining dressing over the asparagus and sprinkle the egg on top.

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