Serves 4

Griddled asparagus is the star in this light, main course salad. Yes, I should have posted this on 23rd April – St George’s Day or Shakespeare Day, however you look at it – the traditional start of the UK asparagus season. I imagine there have been early cuttings Sooth with the warm weather and I am looking forward to our first taste of the season here in Orkney. Such treats take a little while to reach us!

Print the recipe here

Spring is definitely here when you can make this salad with UK asparagus.

2 bunches asparagus

1 tsp olive oil

1 red onion

1 red chilli

Small bunch flat leaf parsley

400g can flageolet or other beans

Extra virgin olive oil

1 Snap the ends off the asparagus and place the spears on a plate. Drizzle with the olive oil. Prepare the remaining vegetables. Finely chop the red onion, chilli and parsley. Drain and rinse the beans in a sieve and shake dry.

2 Heat a ridged griddle pan or large frying pan until hot. Add the asparagus and cook over a medium heat, turning occasionally, until the spears are just tender. This will take about 8 minutes for medium thickness spears. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.

3 Mix together the onion, chilli, parsley and beans in a bowl. Chop the thick stalks from the asparagus, leaving the spears about 10cm long. Roughly chop the ends and add them to the bowl. Mix well, season with salt and pepper and moisten the salad with some extra virgin olive oil.

4 Serve the asparagus spears with the bean and asparagus salad to one side.

Top Tip:

  • Of course you can cook the asparagus however you want to – steam it, roast it, whatever – the main thing is to just keep the tips as the star of the dish and chop the stalks into the bean salad.
  • I like to use flageolets for colour in this salad. However, kidney beans, cannellinis, or chick peas will suffice – I don’t think I’ve seen any flageolets here in Orkney.
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