Sunday, 18 May 2014

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Chilli

I love asparagus so much. The season has begun early this year, with asparagus available from the end of April. We get lovely stuff here, from Claremont Farm, Church Farm and Hawarden Estate. Like strawberries, I don't buy when not in British season, as the asparagus starts to lose its flavour very quickly after picking.

There are so many ways to cook asparagus tastily - boiled for 5 minutes in water, stir-fried Chinese-style, baked in a hot oven with lots of butter, salt and pepper. Last night I had asparagus for the second night running, and decided to make use of some sad looking tomatoes which had been languishing in my fruit bowl. They were a little hard and unripe, but they did the job. In an ideal world, I would have used the reddest baby plum tomatoes I could find, but any of the interesting variety of small tomatoes you can find nowadays would be fabulous. We were using up leftovers, so I served with some sausages and mash (the tomatoey oil flavoured the mash nicely) but I'm not averse to eating the whole lot by myself with no other accompaniments!

 

Ingredients

  • 400g asparagus spears
  • Approx. 150g small tomatoes - my choice would be baby plum tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
  • Salt and ground black pepper to season
  • 1/2 red chilli (leave a few seeds in for heat)
  • 1/2 clove garlic, peeled and sliced as finely as you can
  • Copious amounts of strong, punchy olive oil
Serves 2 as a side, or me as a main

 

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees fan
  • Trim the woody ends from the asparagus (you can do this by bending both ends and the stalk will snap where the woody bit ends), and wash well in a few changes of water
  • Drain the asparagus and lay in a roasting tray
  • Wash the tomatoes and cut into halves or quarters, depending on the size. Using your hands, squash the tomatoes a little over the asparagus so that they become mis-shapen and give up some juice, but do not disintegrate. Lay on top of the asparagus
  • Finely slice half a chilli, keeping a few seeds/pith in if you like some heat. Add the chilli and the finely sliced garlic to the tomatoes and mix them in lightly
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the tomato and asparagus generously, and season with salt and ground black pepper


  • Place in the oven for 12 minutes, then remove and serve immediately
Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Chilli
Served with sausages and mash on the side!

1 comment:

  1. May try this one tonight! Thanks Sara!

    M. Ross

    ReplyDelete