Pan-roasted asparagus with wild garlic and white bean hummus, spring onion and hazelnut pesto

Grilled Asparagus, Wild Garlic & White Bean Hummus, Spring Onion & Hazelnut Pesto

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This recipe is a celebration of two ingredients that are the very definition of early summer. I was extraordinary lucky recently to go to L’Enclume with a friend; the hedgerows surrounding Simon Rogan’s 'Our Farm' were bursting with wild garlic and we couldn’t resist picking a bunch to bring back to London with us. That very weekend English asparagus appeared at my local farmers’ market for the first time and I couldn’t wait to pair the two together.

Here, the asparagus spears are simply grilled in a hot pan to char well but retain a good bite, and the wild garlic is whizzed through a white beans hummus. They combine here to make a wonderful starter for four people, or a hearty salad to serve with some leafy greens and fresh bread perhaps, if you are looking to serve this as a meal in itself.

1
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
2
To begin, make the spring onion and hazelnut pesto. Top and tail the spring onions and cut into 1cm lengths. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, season with a pinch of sea salt and roast for 8 minutes
3
Allow the spring onions to cool slightly before mixing with the chopped hazelnuts, finely chopped parsley, cider vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning
4
To make the white bean hummus, purée the cannellini beans, wild garlic leaves, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, cumin and seasoning until you have a smooth hummus
5
When you're ready to cook, cut the tough woody root end from each asparagus spear. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, add the asparagus – they should sizzle immediately. You may need to do this in two batches. Season with sea salt
6
Cook for 2–4 minutes only, depending on thickness, to char the exterior of the asparagus yet retain a good texture. Add the chopped thyme for the final 15 seconds of cooking, then transfer the spears onto a square of kitchen roll to cool slightly before serving
7
Spoon some hummus onto each plate, followed by 4 asparagus spears and a generous dollop and drizzle of the roasted spring onion pesto. Garnish with some baby leaves and wild garlic flowers and serve immediately
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