I made this last night as a starter and had the remains for lunch today, which is why the asparagus looks a little wrinkled,in the picture. You’d look wrinkled if you’d sat in a hot griddle pan not once but twice!
While we are on the subject, don’t you just love your griddle pan, assuming that you have one? Those ridges give not only a good marking on the food being cooked, but they just seem to cook so much better than other pans. Mine is a Jamie Oliver one, not because I’m keen on him, or being swanky, it was cheap at TK Maxx!
Back to the Asparagus. I got a couple of bunches at the veg shop earlier in the week. I also got some Shiso http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perilla_frutescens from the Crystal Palace Foodmarket https://www.facebook.com/groups/crystalpalacefoodmarket/ at the weekend. My Mum would have called Shisho, salad with pretensions as it is a posh salad leaf from Asia, but i love the taste. It is exotic and bitter and I wanted to use it withe the Asparagus.
Here is what I did…(makes 4 starter portions)
2 bunches of Asparagus (*snapped and trimmed)
2 x Tsp of Sesame Seeds
Handful of Shisho or other salad leaves to dress
2 Tbsp Plant-Based Mayonnaise – see https://bhoneycombe.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/mayonnaise-with-no-eggs-oils-or-nasty-preservatives-which-still-tastes-utterly-delicious/
1 Tbsp OMG Walnut Sauce – see https://bhoneycombe.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/omg-walnut-sauce/
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Tahini
Prepare the asparagus. Heat up a ridged griddle pan and throw on the asparagus. You can throw on a tablespoon of cold water to steam them or just let them cook on the griddle. Your choice. I like them crunchy so did not add water.
Shift them about a bit to ensure that they get cooked evenly and check by tasting one. (Perks of the job, as my father used to say).
Whilst cooking make the sauce. Mix together the ingredients thoroughly and aim for a pouring cream consistency.
Once cooked – after about 5-8 mins, turn off the heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds. The seeds will lightly toast. If your pan is hot they may pop and jump out of the pan, so put a lid on it, to contain them.
To serve, you can smear the plate with the sauce all chef-like, (as i did – yet more pretention) or pour it over the asparagus. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over and surround artistically with your shiso.
*Just hold the tip end of the asparagus in your left hand and bend the other end and it will snap off the woody stem. (you can use those for stock or pop them on the compost heap).