Speedy weeknight suppers: asparagus and parma ham salad recipe

Date:06-06-2013 07:58:03 read:6

Speedy weeknight suppers: asparagus and parma ham salad recipe

Make the most of this season's asparagus by turning it into the star of a salad.

Katriona MacGregor's asparagus and parma ham salad
Perfect seasonal supper: Katriona MacGregor's asparagus and parma ham salad Photo: Heathcliff O'Malley

Seasonal British asparagus should really remain as unadulterated as possible. In this salad some garden herbs, good quality olive oil and a slice of earthy ham bring it to life without overpowering its delicate flavour.

Serves 2

150g asparagus spears

150g tenderstem broccoli

1 tbsp capers

Handful each of fresh tarragon and parsley leaves

½ tsp Dijon mustard

Squeeze of lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

2 free range eggs

4 slices parma ham

Sea salt and pepper

Bring two pans of water to the boil – a small one for the eggs and a larger one for the vegetables.

When the smaller pan of water is simmering, gently drop in the eggs and cook for 6 ½ minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Put the parsley, tarragon and capers on a chopping board and chop together until quite fine. In a small bowl combine the chopped herbs with the mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.

Snap the woody ends from the asparagus and discard – this is usually the bottom inch or so which is quite tough and chewy. Blanch the asparagus and broccoli in the boiling water until only just cooked, you still want the spears to have a bit of bite. Drain and while still warm toss the herb and caper dressing through the vegetables.

Peel the shell from the boiled eggs and cut into quarters. Pile the asparagus, broccoli and parma ham onto plates in layers, finishing with the egg on top. Perhaps drizzle a little more olive oil or lemon juice over the top and a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Serve this with crusty bread or a bowl of new potatoes

Grilled parma ham is also great with this salad – grill for a minute or two until it curls and goes crispy

Sprinkle some toasted pine nuts over the top

Try any combination of herbs in the dressing – mint, chervil or basil would all work well.

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