18 May 2017
Knidos Cookery Club is just back from a flying visit to Uzbekistan where we met up with dilettante chef Mr Alan, who invited us round to sample his take on asparagus tips.
He’d tracked down some sizeable spears in Tashkent’s Alay, or Alaysky, bazaar and we added some first cold press Datça olive oil and some sun-dried tomatoes from the peninsula, which, with the addition of some toasted pine nuts and a smattering of grated pecorino cheese, made for quite a feast.
The asparagus tips, which are easy to bake and go well with potatoes, rice or pasta, were served up with a head of roasted cauliflower drizzled with truffle oil and roast new potatoes. Oh, and there was a duck and some fish for the carnivores, along with lashings of wine from Mr Alan’s cellar!
Ingredients (easily serves 6-8)
1 kg asparagus spears
200 g sun-dried tomatoes
50 ml olive oil
100 g pine nuts
50 g pecorino or similar hard cheese
One cauliflower, leaves removed
Mixed dried herbs such as thyme or oregano
Place a layer of sun-dried tomatoes on the bottom of a large baking dish. Arrange the spears over the top of the tomatoes, pour the olive oil on top, sprinkle some mixed herbs over the spears and grate the cheese over everything.
Bake in a hot, pre-heated oven at 200 c /gas mark 6 for twenty minutes or so until the spears are just beginning to char. Sprinkle the cauliflower with truffle oil and olive oil and cook for 30 minutes for so in the hot oven along with the asparagus tips. While the tips are baking, toast the pine nuts over a medium heat.
Serve the asparagus tips with the pine nuts alongside the cauliflower and potatoes and a bottle or two of your favourite wine.