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  • Spring To The Table


    Melanie Johnson

     

    OKA invited Melanie Johnson, food columnist for Country Life Magazine, to create a delicious spring recipe for our magazine and this one certainly didn't disappoint. Melanie loves to cook for friends without spending the whole evening in the kitchen, so whilst this dish is extremely tasty, the complexity can be found in the flavours not the cooking. With creamy textures, zesty flavours and seasonal ingredients, this dish will be a firm favourite with all of the family. If you'd like to try more of Melanie's recipes, you can find her at @melathomeltd

     

     

    Spring Asparagus with Parma Ham, Hazelnut Mayonnaise, Raspberries and Hazelnut Vinaigrette

    Ingredients

    SERVES 4

    For the hazelnut mayonnaise:
    • 2 egg yolks
    • A pinch of mustard powder
    • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
    • 300ml hazelnut oil
    • 1 lemon, halved
    • Sea salt
    •  

    For the hazelnut vinaigrette:
    • 50g hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
    • 50ml vegetable oil
    • 50ml hazelnut oil
    • 40ml red wine vinegar
    • 24 asparagus spears
    • 4 slices Parma ham
    • 6 raspberries, halved
    • 50g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
    • A handful of rocket

     

     

    Prepare the mayonnaise by adding the egg yolks to a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle over the pinch of mustard powder and add the white wine vinegar. Use a whisk to combine. Add the hazelnut oil a few drops at a time, whisking as you go, until you have a thick mayonnaise. Continue to add the oil in a thin steady stream whilst whisking continuously until you have a thick mayonnaise.

    Squeeze in a little lemon juice and add sea salt. Taste and balance the flavour and then set aside in your refrigerator until ready to use (it will keep in your refrigerator for 24 hours).

    Make the vinaigrette by adding the chopped and toasted hazelnuts, oils and vinegar to a jar and shaking vigorously. Set aside until ready to serve (it will keep for up to a week in your refrigerator).

    Snap the woody stems from the asparagus and steam the spears until just cooked but still retaining a bite.

    To serve, divide the cooked asparagus between plates and drizzle over the hazelnut vinaigrette. Next, dot the plates with small spoonfuls of hazelnut mayonnaise, add a slice of Parma ham, the halved raspberries, a few rocket leaves and finally scatter over the chopped hazelnuts. Serve immediately.