It is a surprising thing for me to write but I think it's true when people say that you can have too much of a good thing. Our long weekend in Paris last week proved this point rather well. It was wonderful. I mean, it was Paris in spring time and you can't really get much better than that. Under blue skies, we walked and ate crêpes, we walked and stopped for coffee and pâtisserie, we walked and ate Ladurée macaroons, we walked and .... well, you get the idea. There was a lot of walking, a lot of rich food and oh yes, there was wine too.
|Les Jardins des Tuileries, May 2013|
It was a perfect weekend but it did have the effect of leaving me longing for some lighter meals and salads, something with crisp green vegetables and refreshing flavours. This warm asparagus dish seemed appropriate. The spears are not boiled but chargrilled on a ridged pan which gives an intense smoky flavour that I love. Combined with the sweet prosciutto and salty parmesan, it makes a delicious spring starter or the ideal lunch after a weekend of gluttonous excess.
I'm linking this up to two blogging challenges. The first is the One Ingredient Challenge run by Laura (this month's host) from How to Cook Good Food and Nazima from Franglais Kitchen. Their theme for May is Asparagus and as I love it, I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's ideas.
The other is Ren Behan's Simple and In Season Challenge, another blog event that encourages us all to use local, fresh, seasonal produce.
RECIPE - serves 2
4 slices prosciutto
about 30g fresh parmesan
extra virgin olive oil
Wash the asparagus and snap off the tough, woody ends - they usually break naturally. You can trim them with a knife if you prefer to have all the spears the same length. Drizzle the spears with a little olive oil and place them on a very hot ridged pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on one side so they get nice grill lines and then turn them over using tongs. Cook for about the same amount of time on the other side.
Divide the asparagus between two plates and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste. Tear the prosciutto into thin strips and drape over the asparagus. Use a potato peeler to make shavings of parmesan and let it fall naturally over the other ingredients.
Drizzle over some more olive oil and serve while the asparagus is still warm.