Asparagus time again. Such a simple thing to cook. This week I worked my happy way through three bunches (with a little help from my friends), and kept all the snapped-off ends and turned them into soup.
Apart from gorgeous, incredibly calorific hollandaise, what I like to have with asparagus is another really simple green thing, salsa verde, deliciously sharp and tangy. Fortunately I've now got enough parsley in the garden to make it with - you need a lot.
Salsa verde (adapted from Claudia Roden's The Food of Italy)
Green sauce Emilian style
25g white breadcrumbs
1 large bunch Italian flat-leaved parsley, roughly chopped (she says 350g but I use about 200g)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Tbsp shallots or onion
1 flat tin anchovies, including oil
2 Tbsp capers
3 Tbsp lemon juice
If you don't already have fresh crumbs, make them by processing the bread in the food processor. Take them out and set aside.
Process garlic and shallots or onion uintil finely chopped.
Add parsley and process until finely chopped.
Add anchovies, capers and lemon juice and process to mix well. Then add breadcrumbs and process again.
Add olive oil in a thin stream while processor is running until you get the consistency you want - thick or thinner.
Taste to see if it needs more lemon juice or a little salt.
Spoon into a shallow bowl and serve with asparagus -
or grilled chicken, or steak, or stirred into pasta.
Or you can spread it thinly on slices of toasted ciabatta and put sliced tomatoes on top.
Rummaging round the web, I found this very odd ad for asparagus. Stalking the American life, indeed...