Wednesday, 9th May 2012
The Asparagus season is short so we should take full advantage of it. This Italian way of cooking it really intensifies the flavour.
(for 4 as a starter)
- 450g (1lb.) Of Asparagus
- 4 tbs. Olive Oil
- 60g (2 oz) Parmesan (in the piece)
- 60g (2 oz.) Pine Nuts
First toast the pine nuts. Scatter them on a non-stick pan and put on a high heat. Now let them toast quickly but watch very carefully and remove from the heat as soon as they start to brown and then put them aside.
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to the boil. Take a spear of Asparagus in your hand and, holding the bottom of the spear in one hand and with the other hand somewhere below the middle, snap it in two. You can now discard the coarse base stem, all of the top of the spear is tender and doesn't need peeling. (Keep the discarded base to make soup). Repeat this with all the asparagus.
Tip the spears into the boiling water and continue to boil them for 5 to 10 minutes or until they are as tender as you want. When ready drain them and if you are not going to eat them immediately cool them under cold running water.
To roast pour the olive oil into a roasting tin, roll the cooked asparagus in this and put into a very hot oven 200 C 400 F Gas 8 for 5 to 6 minutes until just browning at the edges. While they are cooking shave slivers of parmesan from the piece using a potato peeler.
Serve hot from the oven with any unabsorbed oil poured over and the parmesan scattered on top.
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