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Grilled Asparagus With Olive Mashed Potatoes And Sweet Vinegar Dressing

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  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Ready in: 15 mins
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Grilled Asparagus With Olive Mashed Potatoes And Sweet Vinegar Dressing

English asparagus to me is the best in the world by far, mind you I would say that. But the flavour is so delicious its perfect eaten as it is and not played around with too much.


  • 20 English, young asparagus spears
  • 2 tbspn olive oil
  • ½ small onion (or 2 shallots) chopped very finely
  • 3 tbspn Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tspn Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbspn cold water
  • 5 tbspn sunflower oil
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 450g raw potatoes cooked until soft and mashed
  • 75g melted unsalted butter
  • 150mls approx warm milk
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • A pinch ground nutmeg
  • 20 pitted black olives chopped roughly
  • 2 tbspn roughly chopped chives

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  1. First make the mashed potatoes, place the warm mash into a bowl, add the milk and butter and stir well, finally add the nutmeg, chopped olives and chives and mix well. You may need to add a little more milk to get a smooth, but not runny mash cover and keep warm.
  2. Next place the onion or shallot into a bowl, add the water, mustard, vinegar and a good seasoning of salt and pepper, its good to put the salt and pepper in at this stage so they dissolve.
  3. Gradually add the oil in a thin stream until you have a nice dressing, if the vinaigrette splits then don't worry too much, just make sure you stir well before serving.
  4. Heat a griddle or frying pan, brush the asparagus spears with the olive oil and season well, place in the hot griddle pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, so they take a nice colour.
  5. You may have to cook in a couple of batches. The asparagus will become limp.
  6. To serve, spoon a nice blob of mash into the middle of a hot plate, lay 5 pieces of cooked asparagus over the mash and finally drizzle over a little dressing.
  7. Don't go overboard with the dressing, it's very powerful.
  8. A nice glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc is perfect accompaniment.

Phil's Tips

This dish I used to cook all the time as a starter, or doubled in size as a main course, it's a really nice alternative to most vegetarian meals, the only problem is, the English asparagus season is only round for a couple of months, so get your skates on!

Make sure you cook young asparagus, the thicker the spears, the more you may need to be peel the bottom couple of centimetres with a vegetable peeler, as they are tough and stringy.

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