Recipe of the Week - Asparagus & Lardo Bruschetta

Traditionally asparagus season starts around St. George's Day on 23rd April but two growers - Wye Valley and New Forest Fruit are both available to buy now. 
All asparagus growers in Britain, however, stop cutting spears on 21 June – Midsummer’s Day – which is the traditional date for the asparagus to end.
It is such a short season but so so delicious and often simply roasted with olive oil, sea salt topped with grated Parmesan can be such a simple and delicious meal. 

But one dish in Brassica Restaurant which flies out during the season is a simple bruschetta of asparagus topped with lardo.  Lardo is a type of salume made by curing strips of fatback with rosemary and other herbs and spices. The most famous lardo is from the Tuscan hamlet of Colonnata, where lardo has been made since Roman times.

English Asparagus 16 stems
Lardo 12 slices very thin
Sourdough 4 thick slices
Extra virgin olive oil 100ml plus extra for roasting
150g Ricotta (preferably unpasteurised) Westcombe dairy sell a great ricotta.
3 cloves Garlic
Parsley 1 handful
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
20g Capers
1 Lemon
Black pepper

  • Put 2 cloves of garlic with the parsley, mint, capers, olive oil, mustard and zest of a lemon in a blender and process until smooth
  • Heat oven up to 220 c. Trim asparagus ends and place in a single layer on a metal baking sheet, toss with olive oil, a few sp;rigs of thyme and season with black pepper
  • Roast for 10 minutes then remove from oven and season with sea salt.
  • Brush bread with oil and grill in a ribbed grill-pan until well toasted and then rub with a peeled clove of garlic.
  • Divide the ricotta into 4 and spread on each piece of toast

Add some of the herb salsa on each piece of and cut the roasted asparagus spears in half lengthways and divide between the pieces of bruschetta, top with some of the pickled asparagus and lastly lay 3 slices of lardo per piece.

  • Drizzle with extra oil and season with lots of black pepper.

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