Asparagus is definitely one of my favourite ingredients. Recently, I was lucky enough to try some asparagus that had just been picked from a friend’s garden that had taken them three years to cultivate. It was steamed and served with nothing more than a twist of freshly ground black pepper. Heaven. It’s best to keep things simple and my favourite way to cook asparagus is lightly oiled with some salt and pepper on a smoking griddle pan until nicely charred.
In this particular recipe, I wanted a side dish to accompany some pan-fried mackerel so I could afford to make the flavours a bit more punchy. I roasted the asparagus with the tomatoes in the same tray and poured the caper dressing over to serve – incredibly easy and I think would make a perfect partner to any simply cooked fish. The result was absolutely delicious and it will be making a regular appearance in my asparagus repertoire.
10 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to cook
2 bunches of asparagus
150g cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp capers, drained
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 180C / gas 4 / 350F.
- Break the woody ends off the asparagus and cut the tomatoes in half. Put onto an oven tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp of the rapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix gently with your hands and roast for 15 .
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl mix together the remaining rapeseed oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar and seasoning. Whisk together and then add the capers.
- Test the thickest stem asparagus with a knife and if cooked then transfer to a serving dish and pour over the dressing. Garnish with the fresh basil leaves.