ASPARAGUS WITH A WHIPPED RICOTTA AND BASIL DIP
This is a healthier spin on the classic “chips n dip” offering but equally as delicious and moreish. Blanch asparagus in hot water for a few minutes and then submerge in an ice bath to help retain the fresh green colour and bite, sprinkle with some coarse sea salt and voila: the perfect chip substitute! I have created a beautiful and simple ricotta dip to serve alongside the asparagus – together you have the perfect spring/ summer starter to serve at your next dinner party! Everything can be prepped ahead of time; keep the dip in the fridge and the asparagus in the ice bath until ready to serve. I also recommend baking or buying a crusty loaf of bread to serve alongside this dip if your guests are especially ravenous. All you need now is a pitcher of aperol spritz and spring can officially begin!
300 g fine asparagus, woody ends removed
200 g ricotta
50 g basil
30 g parsley
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp single cream (optional)
salt and pepper
Roughly chop the parsley and basil. Place in a food processor along with the ricotta, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Season very generously with salt and pepper and blend until smooth. If the dip seems a little thick add a tbsp of single cream to loosen it up. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the asparagus in it for 3 – 5 minutes until al dente. Fill a bowl of water with ice and then submerge the cooked asparagus in it for 1 minute. Dry with kitchen towel and lay out on a serving dish, sprinkle over coarse sea salt and serve alongside the dip.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes