Quick asparagus, lemon and sesame saute
Prep Cook Serves 10 min 20 min 4
2 tbsp sesame seeds 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup Salt
1 good pinch dried red chilli flakes 1 unwaxed lemon, zested and juiced
2 tsp sesame oil
2 x 400g bunches asparagus
2 heads of greens or 400g sugar snaps 1 tbsp soy sauce Cooked brown rice or noodles, to serve This recipe was a happy accident that came into being when I ordered 10 bunches of asparagus from the greengrocer instead of the two I needed. Sesame, maple and soy might not be the most obvious asparagus pairings, but – trust me – it all just works.
First, toast the seeds in a frying pan until they start to give off their aroma. Once toasted, add the maple syrup, a good pinch of salt and the chilli, and cook for another minute, until the syrup begins to bubble up around the seeds and thicken (but not darken). Take off the heat and transfer to a parchment-lined plate, sprinkle over the lemon zest and leave to set.
Remove the asparagus tips and set aside, then cut the stems into 5cm pieces on the diagonal until 5cm from the base, which you can discard. Put the pan back on the heat with one teaspoon of sesame oil and add the asparagus and greens or sugar snaps. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add the juice of the lemon, the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil and the soy. Serve with warm brown rice or noodles with the maple seeds on top.