These green spears look so beautiful on the table. And the combination of the roasted asparagus with the fluffy sieved (or finely chopped) hard-boiled egg flecked on top, finished with the sweet and citrusy flavours of the lemon and basil in the dressing, is so delicious! You can serve this up on one or two big platters if you are feeding a large crowd, and the eggs and dressing can be prepared the day before, so it’s quite an easy starter to pull together. I’ve also made this just as successfully using stemmed purple sprouting broccoli in place of the asparagus.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Toss the asparagus spears in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, or roast on a hot griddle pan over a high heat for 5 minutes, turning often so that they are evenly cooked.
For the dressing, whisk the lemon juice, shallot, basil and mustard together in a small bowl, and season with salt and the pepper. Then add the extra virgin olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly.
Shell and halve the eggs, then push through a medium-mesh sieve into another small bowl or finely chop.
Toss the baked or roasted asparagus with 1 tablespoon of the dressing in a large bowl, then divide the dressed asparagus between four plates. Spoon the remaining dressing over the asparagus and sprinkle the sieved or chopped egg on top.
Taken from Clodagh’s Suppers by Clodagh McKenna, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Dora Kazmierak
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