Griddled asparagus with apple, potato and spinach cakes and lemon sauce

It’s asparagus season, hooray!
It does seem to have taken a while for British asparagus to appear in the shops this year, but now it’s here!
So, we were thinking along the lines of the classic asparagus and hollandaise, something rich and indulgent but letting the flavour of the asparagus shine.
We happily bounced ideas around a bit and came up with this gorgeous recipe! Bramley apple and caraway work beautifully with asparagus, and the foamy lemon sauce adds a great richness and acidity.
The dish would work really well as a starter, but we ate it as an immensely fancy breakfast before we set out on a long, wet, bank holiday walk. It was sustaining as well as delicious, and the walk was pretty great too!


Griddled asparagus with apple, potato and spinach cake and lemon sauce

serves 2 – 4

200 g asparagus
for the apple, potato and spinach cakes
1 large bramley apple, grated
2 large potatoes, cut into cubes (1 – 2 cm)
40 g fresh spinach, roughly chopped
3/4 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp vinegar
oil, 1/2 tbsp for roasting the potatoes and 2 tbsp for frying the cakes
for the lemon sauce
50 ml soya milk
1.5 – 2 tbsp lemon juice
25 ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
a large pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Toss the potato cubes in 1/2 tbsp oil on an oven tray and roast for around 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.
While the potatoes are roasting, prep the apple and spinach and then make the lemon sauce.
Using an immersion blender whizz together the soy milk and lemon juice and leave for around 5 minutes. It will start to thicken. Next add the rapeseed oil and salt and whizz again. It should be foamy.
When the potatoes are done mix them with the apple, spinach caraway and vinegar.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Using 4 x 10 cm chefs rings if you have them, press 1/4 of the apple mixture into each one, in the pan. Otherwise shape the mixture into rounds in the pan.
Cook for around 5 minutes, then flip them carefully and cook the other side for the same amount if time. They should be golden and crisp and the apple will have broken down and helped to set the cakes in shape. Griddle the asparagus for 4 – 6 minutes until just tender (our spears were quite thin).
Give the the sauce another quick whizz to foam it up again and then assemble the dish.
Plate the cakes first, then arrange the asparagus around and spoon the foam over the top.

By A. and E.

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