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.
- 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
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.