I look forward to British asparagus season every year and try to get farm picked fresh every year! We are very lucky to live in a farming area, so can obtain this easily. When we travel to Somerset each year, if we pass an asparagus farm we always pull in and buy some, then throw it on the grill . The flavours are just divine and you are not going to get such loud and proud flavours from imported out of season stuff.
WINE NOTE: Now the farm that the asparagus came from, also has an award winning vineyard! So we drank their ALDER RIDGE BLANC DE NOIRS sparkling wine with it, because wine not???
- 2 bunches of asparagus
- plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 50g grated parmesan
- 50g panko breadcrumbs
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 250g smoked streaky bacon
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra to top up
- 1 egg , plus 1 egg yolk (from above)
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- Separate one of the three eggs for the asparagus. Put the white in a bowl with the remaining two eggs, beat with a fork and set aside until needed.
- For the baconnaise. Chop the bacon as finely as possible. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the bacon and stir over a low heat for 15 mins, so it ends up sizzling in its own fat and becomes brown and crisp. Sit a metal sieve over a jug and tip the bacon into the sieve – you need about 200ml of fat in total, so top up the bacon fat with extra oil as necessary. Leave to cool for 10 mins
- Tip the egg, egg yolk and mustard into a bowl, whisk to combine, then slowly add the bacon fat and oil mixture – first a drop at a time, then gradually quicker when it starts to come together. (You can also make this in a mini chopper, by blitzing the egg and mustard then slowly adding the oil with the blade running.) Once you have a thick mayonnaise, add the vinegar and chopped bacon, and season to taste. Store in the refrigerator if making in advance.
- Snap off or trim the woody ends of the asparagus (save for making stock or soup). Get out three shallow dishes and tip the flour into one, the beaten eggs from step one into another, and the parmesan and breadcrumbs into the third. Dip the asparagus in the flour, then the egg, then the cheesy breadcrumbs, and put on a plate. Can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator covered.
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Drizzle the oil over a shallow baking tray and heat in the oven. Once the oil is hot, carefully lay the asparagus spears in it, then turn them. Make sure they are in one layer, then roast for 20 mins, turning halfway through, until the crumbs have browned to a crisp coating. Leave until just cool enough to pick up, then serve with the baconnaise for dipping.