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.

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