Grilled Asparagus with Pancetta and Lemon Butter Sauce

grilled_asparagus_with_pancetta_and_lemon_butter_sauce

Try to have this delicious starter during asparagus season, which runs for approximately eight weeks in May and June. This is when they are at their best with a full, sweet flavour and fine, tender texture. The butter sauce is lighter than Hollandaise and much easier to make in advance.

Ingredients:
  • 20 large asparagus spears
  • 20 thin slices pancetta (Italian streaky bacon)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • For the lemon butter sauce:
  • ½ cup (4floz) cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp (1oz) Kerrygold Salted Butter, diced and at room temperature
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh chives
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions:

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.

Drain the asparagus spears and quickly refresh under cold running water, then pat dry on kitchen paper. Wrap each of the asparagus spears in a slice of pancetta and arrange on a plate. Drizzle with the olive oil and season to taste.

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.

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.

To serve, arrange the griddled asparagus on warmed plates and spoon over the lemon butter sauce.

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