Griddled Asparagus with Sesame dressing
Also great for the barbecue
Serves 6 as a starter
3 bunches of British asparagus (about 750g)
3 tablespoons sunflower or groundnut oil
2 garlic cloves
1 red chilli
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan and toast for a minute or so until golden. Tip onto a plate to cool.
Place a griddle pan (You can use a large frying pan or cook on the barbecue) onto a medium heat to warm. Pour the oil into a large flat dish or tray. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and add the spears to the tray with salt and pepper. Toss together well.
Place about half of the asparagus spears in the pan and sear for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally until tender. While the asparagus is cooking, peel and finely chop the garlic and deseed and finely chop the chilli. Squeeze the juice from the lime into a serving dish and add the garlic, chilli, sesame oil, fish sauce, sugar and vinegar. Mix together well.
As the asparagus cooks add it to the dressing in the dish. Toss together and finally add the sesame seeds.
© Annie Nichols