Griddled asparagus with Parmesan and pine nut dressing
I like cooking asparagus this way for a change, either in a ridged griddle pan or if the weather allows, on the barbecue. It really intensifies the flavour, and this dressing with its salty tang and creamy texture is an ideal partner.
500g fresh asparagus, trimmed
olive oil for brushing
For the dressing:
4 tbsp grated Parmesan
4 tbspextra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the dressing first. Place the pine nuts and garlic in a pestle and mortar or small blender and pound/process to give a smooth paste.
Work in the Parmesan and then drizzle in the olive oil a little at a time to create a thick dressing. Season to taste.
Brush the griddle pan with a little oil and cook the asparagus spears for 8-10 minutes until lightly charred and tender, turning them regularly and brushing with olive oil to stop them drying out.
Transfer to serving plates and spoon over the dressing.
Serve with good bread to mop up the juices.
Cook's tip: Store the dressing in a screw-topped jar in the fridge for up to 4 days. It goes well with salad leaves or roasted Mediterranean vegetables. Another tip is to cut the asparagus into lengths, toss with freshly cooked pasta and the dressing for a light lunch.
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