Recipes

Asparagus & hazelnut salad with creamy dressing

Summer is the time for asparagus! It's perfect in salads, sautéed or as a side dish. You can even chuck it on the barbie for a few minutes. If even that seems too much like hard work, don't forget it's a perfect vegetable to eat raw.

Ingredients

  • ½ lemon
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 48g tin good-quality anchovy fillets, such as Ortiz
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of ground chilli
  • 90ml milk
  • 2 bunches of asparagus, woody ends removed sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to season
  • 2 cups of watercress, picked and washed
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped

Method

Peel the lemon with a small knife, taking care to remove all of the white pith. Remove any pips and finely chop the flesh. Place in a food processor and add 3 tbsp of oil, the anchovy fillets, garlic and chilli. Process until well combined.

Keeping the motor running, gradually add the milk, about ½ tbsp at a time. (If you add the milk too quickly, the dressing may split.) When all the milk is incorporated, add about 1-2 tsp of warm water so the dressing is of pouring consistency.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the asparagus until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and refresh in iced water. Drain again. Dress with remaining olive oil and season to taste.

Place some of the anchovy dressing on a large share plate, pile the asparagus on top, then top with watercress. Spoon over the remaining dressing and scatter over the hazelnuts.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
Try the Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Goulburn Valley, Vic.

This classic fruit-driven cabernet sauvignon is a terrific match with the slow-cooked beef pie. It's medium-bodied and full of delicious grainy tannins, with underlying touches of blackcurrant and mint, and lingering flavours of crushed blackcurrants, blueberries, cloves and other spices.

First published in the Good Weekend.

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THE ROCKPOOL FILES