A tasty starter that will kick off any meal in style.
- 16 white asparagus spears (peeled & trimmed to about 14cm)
- 4 slices of parma ham
- 2 tblsp olive oil
- salt & freshly ground white pepper
- 120 g garden peas
- tomato & parmesan butter:
- 100 g unsalted butter (softened)
- 25 g parmesan cheese (finely grated)
- 1 plum tomato (skinned, deseeded, diced & dried on kitchen paper)
- black olive tapenade:
- 100 g pitted black olives
- 25 g capers
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 75 g parmesan cheese
- 25ml extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
- Bundle 4 spears of asparagus together and wrap with a slice of Parma ham.
- Repeat with the remaining asparagus spears. Transfer all the bundles to a roasting tin, drizzle them with the olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
- Cover the tin with tinfoil and roast for 15-20 minutes until tender. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the asparagus spears. Remove the asparagus bundles from the oven and keep warm.
- Boil the peas in simmering salted water in a medium sized saucepan for 1-2 minutes or until they float to the top. Drain the peas, refresh them in ice cold water, the drain them again.
- Tomato & Parmesan Butter:
- Soften the butter nearly to melting point and fold in the grated Parmesan and diced tomato.
- Black Olive Tapenade:
- Pulverise all the ingredients in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until required.
- To Serve:
- Divide the peas between four warm plates. Place the asparagus spears on top and spoon the tomato and Parmesan butter over them. Place a small mound of tapenade at one side of the plate.