Ingredients

  • 20 large asparagus spears
  • 20 thin sliced pancetta (Italian streaky bacon)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • For the lemon butter sauce
  • 120ml (4fl oz) ( ½ cup) cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 25g (1oz) (2 tbsp), diced and at room temperature Kerrygold Pure Irish Salted Butter
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Asparagus are the baby shoots of a cultivated lily plant. A delicacy with an intense savoury flavour, this vegetable is best during the during asparagus season - from May to June - when their flavour is full and sweet with a fine, tender texture. When picking asparagus, the tips should be perky and shoots should be straight and firm. This lemon butter sauce is lighter than hollandaise and much easier to make in advance.
  1. Trim the asparagus spears and then blanch in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes until almost tender but still with a slight bite.
  2. Drain the asparagus spears and quickly refresh under cold water, then pat dry on kitchen paper. Wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of pancetta and arrange on a plate. Drizzle with the olive oil and season to taste.
  3. To make the lemon butter sauce, place the cream and mustard in a small pan and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the butter, cornflour and lemon juice, then continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the chives and season to taste. Keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until very hot. Add the wrapped asparagus spears and cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp and lightly golden, turning regularly.
  5. To serve, arrange the griddled asparagus on warmed plates and spoon over the lemon butter sauce.

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