Stalk speak: Yotam Ottolenghi’s asparagus recipes

I have made a U-turn with asparagus. I used to suggest pairing it best with mild components (and not too a lot of them), so as now not to mask its first-class flavour, however, I now trust it can, in fact, bear a fair little bit of goings-on at the same time as nevertheless keeping its asparagus truth. Yes, a knob of butter or a drizzle of olive oil, with perhaps a poached egg on pinnacle, is a fine way to serve the spears, however fermented elements with built-in intensity – soy, black garlic, miso, gochujang chilli paste – are equally appropriate companions. In reality, they shed a funky new mild on the vintage asparagus.
Asparagus and gochujang pancakes (pictured pinnacle)

Gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste) does wonders to each pancakes and asparagus, however the mixture of all 3 offers you some thing sincerely marvellous. Try to source a good-nice Korean logo; it’s far a lot extra severe than supermarket very own-logo sorts.

Prep 15 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 2

135g undeniable flour
60g rice flour (now not glutinous rice flour)
Salt
1 egg
325ml ice-cold water
1½ tbsp gochujang chili paste
1½ tbsp coriander leaves, kind of chopped, plus more to serve
½ crimson chili, deseeded and finely chopped
75ml sunflower oil
400g asparagus, woody ends trimmed and discarded and spears halved lengthways (280g internet weight)
120g spring onions (ie, about 6-7), trimmed, cut in 1/2 widthways and alternatively lengthways

For the dipping sauce
50ml light soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
2 tsp rice-wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled and beaten
½ crimson chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

For the dipping sauce, whisk together all elements in a small bowl, then set aside.

Put both flours in a massive bowl with half a teaspoon of salt, and blend to combine. In a separate bowl, gently whisk the egg, water, gochujang, coriander and chili. Make a nicely in the center of the flour mixture, then slowly pour in the moist substances and whisk till simply easy; don’t overmix.

Pour just over a tablespoon of oil into a medium (18cm), nonstick pan on a medium-high flame. Once warm, upload 1 / 4 of the asparagus (make certain it all points inside the equal direction) and a tiny pinch of salt, and cook dinner for a minute and a 1/2 to two minutes, turning a few times, or till it begins to melt and shade. Add a quarter of the spring onions, prepare dinner for 30 seconds more, then pour over 140g of the batter (ie, approximately a quarter of it), and swirl the pan so it spreads out to cowl the pan’s circumference. Leave to prepare dinner for two and a 1/2 mins, then turn over and prepare dinner for the equal time on the alternative side, or until crisp and golden.

Transfer to a plate, preserve warm and repeat with the relaxation of the oil, asparagus, spring onions and batter, making 4 pancakes in all. (You may need to adjust the warmth and timings as you go.)

Divide the pancakes between plates, sprinkle over the extra chopped coriander and serve the sauce along or gently drizzled on top.
Asparagus and ricotta tart with miso and black garlic

This clean tart receives its oomph from the combination of sweet black garlic and salty miso. Serve it with a massive green salad as a light lunch.

Prep 10 min
Cook 50 min
Serves four

150g ricotta
25g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra finely grated to serve
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp white miso
Salt and black pepper
6 cloves black garlic, roughly chopped
1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
2½ tbsp olive oil
1 x 35cm x 22cm sheet all-butter puff pastry (approximately 320g), rolled out
250g first-class asparagus ends trimmed and discarded
¼ tsp chili flakes

Heat the oven to 190C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. In a small bowl, integrate the ricotta, parmesan, one of the egg yolks, the miso and a terrific grind of pepper, and set apart.

Put the black garlic, vinegar, tablespoons of oil and a teaspoon of water in the small bowl of a meals processor and blitz clean, scraping the edges of the bowl a few instances as you cross.

Line a huge baking tray with greaseproof paper and lay the puff pastry sheet on pinnacle, with the longer facet going through you. Create a rim on the pastry through gently scoring it about 1cm from the threshold all the way around. Gently poke the center randomly with a fork approximately 12 times in all. Spread the ricotta combination calmly over the center, then top with the asparagus tips, all pointing inside the equal path and away from you, with a few pointers slightly overlapping the others. Drizzle over the ultimate teaspoon and a 1/2 of oil, and gently sprinkle the asparagus with salt and pepper. Add a small splash of water to the ultimate egg yolk, beating to mix, and use this to brush all over the rim.

Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until the pastry is golden around the edges and cooked through. Transfer the tart to a large board, spoon over the black garlic dressing, sprinkle with the chili and additional parmesan, then reduce into eight pieces. Serve heat or at room temperature.

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