Monday Morning Cooking Club: Spring Inspiration
We love this dish from the Monday Morning Cooking Club kitchen. Choose local fresh green asparagus when in season (September – March in Australia) and the best sourdough bread you can buy. It’s fabulous as a starter or as part of a buffet lunch.
Chargrilled Asparagus. Tomato and Avocado Salsa
- 4 bunch fresh asparagus
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup raw hazelnuts roughly crushed (see note)
- 2 slices sourdough bread torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes assorted colours, halved
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf (Italian) parsley roughly chopped
- 1 avocado, firm and ripe
- 2 lemons juiced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a barbecue or ridged pan to hot. Drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper over the asparagus.
- Cook for a few minutes on each side until the stalks are a little charred and not quite soft enough to eat. They will continue to cook as they cool. Place in one layer on a serving platter.
- In a medium pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and cook the hazelnuts until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook the bread until golden and crisp. Set aside.
- Peel and cube the avocado and drizzle with a little lemon juice.
- To make the salsa, toss together the tomato, avocado, parsley and bread. Drizzle with 1/3 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Pile the salsa on top of the asparagus and scatter the hazelnuts on top.
- Note: If you wish to remove the sometimes-bitter skins from the hazelnuts, toss them in a hot pan for a few minutes and then roll in a tea towel, agitating them to remove the skins. Then add the oil to the pan and toast as per the recipe.