The sun was shining, the grill was on, and so I charred some sourdough. I could have made simple bruschetta with nothing more than garlic, oil and flaky sea salt, but I added more!
300g (10 oz) purple (or green) asparagus 4 (or more) slices sourdough bread 2 large cloves garlic, peeled ½ -1 tsp flaky sea salt 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling 1 Tbsp lemon juice Freshly ground black pepper Extras: freshly grated ginger (squeeze, and use the juice only); marjoram or basil, torn or chopped; thinly sliced feta or pecorino
1 Wash asparagus and pat dry, but don’t trim as the woody end gives you something to hold onto. Shave spears with a potato peeler. This can be done 30 minutes ahead; cover and chill.
2 When ready to finish off, char the bread over a barbecue grill, or failing that, in a toaster. Rub the grilled bread with 1 of the cloves of garlic; the rough texture of the bread will pick up bits of the garlic. Sprinkle bread with a little sea salt and arrange on a plate.
3 Thinly slice the other clove of garlic and put it in a bowl with the oil and lemon juice and add ½ teaspoon of flaky sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper, then whisk with a fork. Add the asparagus, toss well with the dressing then pile onto the charred bread. Serve immediately.
This shows off my delicious extra virgin olive oil – the oil has an artichoke and rocket character so cosies up nicely to asparagus. Will it work if you don’t use my oil? Of course!
But what you do need is nice taught asparagus – and plump ones are easier to shave than skinny ones – and good sourdough bread.
If using ginger, add the juice to the dressing. If using herbs, add them with the asparagus. If serving with cheese, arrange it on top of the asparagus.