Thomasina Miers’ Asparagus with anchoïade
We still have plenty of home grown asparagus in our fields, and will do for a few weeks yet. In case you missed it, we wanted to share with you Thomasina Miers' delicious recipe for Asparagus with anchoïade which was featured in The Guardian at the weekend. Serve it on its own, or with a poached egg on top and a few salad leaves. Delicious.
Here's what Thomasina says:
'The nutty, garlicky sauce is the essence of culinary wantonness. Its flavour sets off the pure, verdant taste of asparagus perfectly, making this a beautifully simple starter or light lunch. I make my anchoïade with a pestle and mortar (the larger and heavier, the better), because the texture is half the pleasure of this chunky, gutsy sauce; otherwise, pulse the ingredients in a blender. Some Provençal recipes add dried fruit such as figs or currants to the mix, but I prefer my anchoïade without the sweetness. Serves four.
200g asparagus, trimmed
For the anchoïade
½ tsp cumin seeds
1-2 fat garlic cloves (2 if you prefer the sauce on the punchy side, which I do)
6 good-quality anchovy fillets in oil, drained
60g chopped walnuts
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
1-2 tsp red-wine vinegar, to taste
90ml extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp truffle oil (optional)
First make the anchoïade. Toast the cumin in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, until fragrant, then grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar (or pulse in a blender). Add the garlic and anchovies, and bash to a paste. Slowly pound in the walnuts bit by bit (if you add too many at once, they tend to fly out of the bowl), then transfer to a large bowl and stir in all the other ingredients. Season to taste and set aside.
Break off and discard the woody ends of the asparagus stalks – the spears have a natural breaking point and should snap off easily. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil, then simmer the asparagus for three minutes, until cooked but still with some bite.
Drain, then refresh under cold water if you’re serving up later (this helps preserve that bright green colour), or serve at once with a small dipping bowl of the anchoïade on each plate and a sprinkling of salt on the asparagus.'
Recipe taken from The Guardian.