Asparagus season is now starting in Scotland and usually runs from May until the middle
of June. So much fruit and veg is grown in tunnels now though that the season can be easily extended by growing in poly tunnels and using different varieties.
I have a really good farm shop nearby and managed to get some of the first pickings – big, fat, juicy spears. I decided to roast them with some oak smoked, locally cured bacon I had in the fridge. Because the asparagus spears were so fat, the bacon worked well. If you can only get the pencil spears that the supermarkets seem to stock, try parma ham or prosciutto and only roast it for 8 – 10 min and give more per person.
Smoked salmon would also work well if you’re not keen on meat, although you might need a little sauce as the salmon might dry out. A lemony beurre blanc would be perfect.
The fat spears were great for a main course. If you have thinner ones, they’re good for a starter or even as canapes.
Roast Asparagus with Smoked Bacon
16 good fat spears of fresh asparagus – washed and the woody ends snapped of if necessary
16 rashers of smoked middle bacon – middle bacon is the back bacon rasher plus the streaky rasher all in one.
Salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil
- Drizzle the asparagus spears in olive oil, pepper and a little salt, give them a good mix to ensure the seasoned olive oil coats the spears nicely.
- Stretch each rasher of bacon with the back of a knife and wrap tightly round the asparagus spears.
- Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7, place the asparagus spears on a rack above a roasting tin and roast in the oven – 12 min for fat spears, 8 or 10 min for thinner ones.
- Serve with a good green salad