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This is one of my favourite combinations as the tender asparagus coated in the pine nut and lemon dressing works so beautifully together.
Asparagus with toasted pine nuts, lemon and parsley
24 spears (6 each)
30g fresh pine nuts, toasted until golden
1 clove garlic, crushed to a paste
1 lemon, zest and juice
Handful fresh italian parsley, roughly chopped
50ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes
Freshly cracked black pepper
Begin by making the toasted pine nuts dressing.
Place a dry fry pan over a moderate heat and toast the nuts until a deep golden colour all over. Remove and cool.
Mix the lemon zest, garlic and parsley together, stir to combine, add the lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust if necessary. Set aside.
Put a suitably sized saucepan half-filled with lightly salted water on to boil.
Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the ends (they will snap when each end is held, it will break where it is tender and tough). Set aside the tender spears and discard the ends or use for stock.
When the water is boiling, gently place the asparagus in and cook for 4 minutes or until just tender. Drain the asparagus.
Place the asparagus on to a platter and pour over the pine nut dressing.
Serve at once.