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


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
  2. Bundle 4 spears of asparagus together and wrap with a slice of Parma ham.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Tomato & Parmesan Butter:
  7. Soften the butter nearly to melting point and fold in the grated Parmesan and diced tomato.

Black Olive Tapenade:

  1. Pulverise all the ingredients in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until required.
  2. To Serve:
  3. 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.