Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Hazelnut and Garlic Condiment

11:20 pm on 11 September 2006

A very simple dish that has been with me many years and is a favourite during the asparagus season, also equally good with roasted milk feed pigeon.

The finished roasted hazelnut condiment is quite a heavy paste, put to one side in the kitchen for around an hour to allow the flavours to develop, the hazelnuts will fall to the bottom just simply give it a good stir to recombine the nuts and oil. The same recipe can be made with fresh almonds, pistachio, walnuts and pecans. This recipe is great with charcoal grilled rabbit, spit roast French Rouge hen and particularly good with my new dish, Roasted Milk Feed Pigeon, Hazelnut and Gingerbread Sauce. This can also be serve with grilled fennel, leek and giant portobello mushrooms.

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

Asparagus

  • 1kg trimmed asparagus (allow 1.2kg untrimmed)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • aalt

Roasted Hazelnut and Garlic Condiment

  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small mandarin
  • 1 tsp brandy
  • salt
  • freshly milled pepper
  • 150mls extra virgin olive oil

Method

Taste the hazelnuts to ensure they are not old, soft or rancid. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and heat in a 150°c oven until warm to the touch for two to three minutes, this will increase their flavour.

Coarsely chop, discarding any discoloured nuts. Roughly chop the garlic and pound in a mortar, scoop out and set to one side.

Place hazelnuts in the mortar and pound to a paste or if you prefer you could use a food processor.

Add the garlic and pound in half the olive oil to combine, stir in the remaining olive oil.

Grate the zest of ½ the mandarin. Stir into the hazelnut paste.

Add the brandy, salt and freshly milled pepper to taste. You can add a little pulped mandarin flesh if you like, no more than 1tbsp this lightens the condiment a little.

Suggested Wines to Go With Today's Recipe

Sauvignon Blanc

Grove Mill 2006
Southbank Estate 2006
Corbans Homestead 2006
Five Flax 2006

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