"The arrival of British asparagus is a true marker of the beginning of warmer weather – these tender spears are a national treasure. Eat as soon as possible after buying: if you need to store them, treat the spears like cut fl owers – stand them upright in a jar of water in the fridge." Skye Gyngell
Asparagus, herb and pecorino salad with lemon-infused olive oil
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Cooking time: 5 minutes
- Total time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 as a starter
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, zest and juice
230g asparagus, ends trimmed
1 handful of basil leaves
1 handful of mint leaves
1 handful of rocket leaves
125g pecorino, shaved or thinly sliced
1. In a small pan, gently warm the olive oil with half the lemon zest over a low heat for 10 minutes. Cool and set aside.
2. Place the asparagus in a large pan of salted boiling water. Allow the water to return to the boil and cook for a further 45 seconds until just tender. Remove the spears from the pan with tongs, place in a colander and refresh under cold running water. Gently pat dry and place in a bowl. Season and spoon over 1 tbsp of the lemon-infused oil; set aside.
3. Combine the herb and rocket leaves in another bowl. Spoon over another tbsp of the lemon-infused oil, season and toss together lightly.
4. To serve, pile the rocket mixture onto four plates or one large serving plate. Arrange the asparagus and pecorino over the top. Drizzle over a little more oil. Sprinkle with a little more lemon zest and a squeeze or two of lemon juice.