Grilled asparagus with crispy capers and creamy lemon dressing
A simple way to cook fresh spring asparagus, the capers here are addictive and the dressing suitable for other salads too!
1 bunch asparagus
1 large tbsp mild coconut oil
100g capers (this will make extra, you can keep these in a glass jar to add to salads or garnish)
toasted seeds to finish *
lemon zest to finish
salt and pepper
60ml lemon juice
60ml olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
pinch salt and pepper
The best way to trim the woody end of your asparagus is to snap it. Feel for the first point where it feels like you can snap and do so. Discard the end or keep for a stock or soup.
The capers take the longest so start with them. Drain your capers, trying to get rid of excess liquid otherwise the pan will splutter. Heat a small pan with the oil, then add your capers. Cook for about 10 minutes until there’s no moisture left in the capers, they should darken slightly and become crispy.
Take out of the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Rinse and very lightly oil the asparagus, too much and the grill pan will smoke. Grill for about 5 minutes, turning after a couple of minutes. You want the asparagus charred but still crunchy and green.
While your asparagus is cooking make the dressing, simply blitz all the ingredients in a high speed blender. If you don’t have one, whisk the ingredients together and slowly drizzle the oil in until the dressing is emulsified and creamy..
Dress the aspragaus with a tablespoon of dressing, plate it with a drizzle more dressing, topped with a tablespoon of the crispy capers, toasted seeds, , lemon zest and a sprinkle of chili flakes or black pepper and serve.
• Nutritional yeast are sold in flakes from health food stores and larger supermarkets. It's often used to add cheesiness or creaminess for vegan sauces, but it's got an addictive salty tang so works really nicely in dressings like these.
• The capers makes more than you'll need for this recipe but store them in a sealed jar and use them in salads or a garnish for other dishes.
• One of my favourite ways to toast seeds is in a pan, with a splash of sesame oil and a splash of soy sauce. Cook for a few minutes until crunchy and slightly blackened from the soy.