Roasted asparagus with hazelnut dressing recipe image

Print Roasted asparagus with hazelnut dressing

Baking the asparagus with olive oil intensifies its delicate taste in this quick vegetarian dish. Hazelnut dressing is a lovely alternative to the more traditional hollandaise – and much less likely to go wrong! This will happily be eaten at room temperature as well as warm. It's good sprinkled with a finely chopped hard-boiled egg.

Ingredients

  • 75g whole hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut or walnut oil
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 750g asparagus
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and place in the oven to toast, for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C/Gas 7, ready for the asparagus.
  2. Place the nuts in the centre of a clean tea towel, fold the towel over and rub the towel so the skins come away from the nuts. Then coarsely chop or lightly blitz the nuts in a food processor. Keep to one side.
  3. To make the dressing, place the hazelnut oil, half the olive oil, the vinegar and salt and pepper to season. Whisk until combined and set to one side.
  4. Place the asparagus spears on a baking tray and toss with the remaining olive oil. Season.
  5. Place in the oven and roast for about 12 minutes until they are just lightly browning and tender. If the spears are small they will take less time to cook, so keep an eye on them.
  6. Transfer the asparagus to a serving dish and drizzle over the dressing, then sprinkle over the hazelnuts and serve.

Cooks notes

To trim asparagus take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks. The asparagus automatically breaks just where the woody part ends and the fresh part starts. With young asparagus this isn't so necessary, just chop a little bit of the end to neaten them up but make sure there is no dirt in between the triangular leaves on the stalk and the stem of the asparagus, or in between the tips (trim the triangular leaves off the bottom if they are large or carefully wash the stalks).

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