Warm asparagus and leeks
( SERVES 4 )
You can’t go wrong when it comes to asparagus with pan-fried pancetta or bacon. It is just one of those combinations that work so well. If asparagus spears are particularly thick, you can blanch them quickly in lightly salted water or you can steam the spears before charring.
- Heat a char-grill until hot. Drizzle the asparagus spears with olive oil and season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Place on the hot grill and grill until just tender and lightly charred. To test if the asparagus spears are tender, insert the point of a small sharp knife into the stalk end. Place charred asparagus spears on a serving plate.
- Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp. Remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper. Pour nearly all of the remaining pancetta fat into a small metal bowl (allow to cool then cover and place in the fridge for another use).
- Lower the heat and return the pan to the heat. Add the leeks and cook until they are soft, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds. Stir in the lemon and orange zest, pine nuts and parsley.
- Spoon leek mixture over the asparagus and top with the crisp pancetta.
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