How to make Nathan Outlaw’s asparagus with fried sourdough breadcrumbs

It's hard to go too far wrong with fresh asparagus, but this mouthwatering recipe — grilled asparagus with fried sourdough breadcrumbs in butter and lemon, parsley and garlic — gives it a lovely extra kick.

Across Britain, gardeners will be pulling up the first asparagus of the season, assuming all has gone to plan. But what to do with it?

Nathan Outlaw, chef director of Siren at The Goring Hotel, shares a simple but superb recipe: grilled asparagus with fried sourdough breadcrumbs in butter and lemon, parsley and garlic.

Ingredients

Serves 4 as a starter

  • 24 spears of asparagus
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 100g unsalted butter for crumbs
  • 100g salted butter for dressing
  • 4 thick slices of sourdough, crusts removed and blitzed to crumbs
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • Wash the asparagus and peel any hard bases. However, if its tender don’t peel it! Either using a chargrill or griddle pan, cook the asparagus for 6-8 minutes moving about every 30 seconds until just cooked.

Method

In a frying pan heat the olive oil and unsalted butter over a medium heat until just bubbling. Add the breadcrumbs into the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes until golden, stirring all the time. Put some kitchen towel on a plate and place the breadcrumbs onto it, then keep them warm.

Wipe out the pan and place the asparagus into it with the salted butter. Heat the pan until the butter is bubbling then add the garlic, lemon zest and juice and parsley. Mix together carefully.

Divide the asparagus between four warm plates and spoon over the butter, parsley and garlic that’s remaining in the pan.

Sprinkle over the fried sourdough crumbs and serve immediately.