Asparagus are just coming into season in the UK and I thought this is the perfect time to share this delicious easy side dish. Cooking with asparagus is fairly new to me as I didn’t really eat them until about a year ago. I am really pleased that I decided to try them again and discovered that, like most things, it’s really all about the cooking. Overcook them and they become texturless green mush. Cook them well, and serve them with a perfect garnish – and indeed you have delight on a plate. This is an easy side dish that I got from an old BBC Good Food magazine.

More in sides: Brussels sprouts with bacon, leek and Nigella seedsCauliflower fritters with herby dipping saucePimientos de Padrón.

Asparagus with lemon & hazelnut crumb

Serves 3 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 5 mins
Easy | Dairy Free | Vegan


You’ll need:

  • 25g breadcrumbs;
  • 25g chopped hazelnuts;
  • zest from 1/2 lemon;
  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 350g asparagus spears, sliced in 2-3cm pieces;
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A little lemon juice;
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill.

Bring a small pan of salted water to a boil. Combine the breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, lemon zest and season. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and cook the crumb mixture until  golden and crispy. Meanwhile cook the sliced asparagus spears in the boiling water for 2 minutes until tender, but still crunchy. Drain, then toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil & a squeeze of lemon juice. Transfer to a serving plate, top with the crumbs and the chopped dill.

Original Recipe from BBC Good Food issue May 2013, no longer available online