Asparagus with preserved lemons and anchovy crumb and with a zingy basil dressing

Serves 4 | time 30 minutes

Prep 20 minutes | Cook 10 minutes


30g crustless sourdough bread
30g pine nuts
2 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
Flaked sea salt and black pepper
25g unsalted butter
400g asparagus, woody ends trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
10g basil leaves, finely shredded
½ tsp each finely grated lemon zest and juice

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. Blitz the sourdough in a food processor to fine crumbs, then pulse a few times with the pine nuts, anchovies, a generous pinch of flaked sea salt and plenty of pepper, until everything is finely chopped.

Put a small frying pan on a medium-high heat with the butter and, once it starts to foam, fry the crumbs for two to three minutes, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crisp. Tip the crumbs on to a plate and leave to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix the asparagus with two teaspoons of oil, the garlic, a quarter-teaspoon of flaked sea salt and a good grind of pepper. Spread out the spears on an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast for eight to 10 minutes, until soft and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and leave somewhere warm.

In a small bowl, mix the basil with a teaspoon of oil, the lemon zest and juice, and a pinch of flaked sea salt.

Sprinkle all but a tablespoon of the crumb mix on a large platter or between four individual plates. Top with the asparagus, then spoon over the basil and lemon salsa, and finish with a final sprinkling of crumbs.


3 or 4 potatoes chopped into chunks

4 inches of dried chorizo, diced

6 spears of asparagus

Good handful of parsley or coriander, chopped

2 fresh eggs

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp olive oil

Big handful of mature cheddar (optional)


Part one

Bring a pan of water to the boil, salt generously then pop the potatoes in for ten minutes until soft.

In a large cold pan, fry the small chunks of chorizo. This will allow the fat to render out which the potato will soak up later.

Once the potato is done, drain and mash lightly,

When the chorizo is hot and just starting to crisp, add the vinegar oil, oregano and potato.

Mix well, turn down the heat and leave in a bowl on the side.

Part two

Fill a bowl with iced water.

Bring a pan of water to boil and salt. Drop in the asparagus for 1 minute to blanch.

Take the asparagus out of the hot water and drop into the iced water, this will ensure it keeps it its beautiful colour.

Part three

Using a metal ring (or a shallow bowl if you don’t have one), scoop a large spoonful of chorizo hash mix into it and place in the hot pan.

Fry until you have a crispy bottom. Pop the asparagus in along with it until it’s charred,

At the same time, poach the egg for a few minutes until just firm.

Part four

To serve lay your hashcake on a plate or wide bowl.

Lay three spears of asparagus on top and gently pop your egg on top. I like to split it gently so the egg oozes all over the top – but thats up to you.

Lastly sprinkle some finishing salt and parsley or coriander on top and serve.


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