Asparagus, fennel & new potato salad w/ orange & maple dressing / Serves 4
- 1kg baby potatoes cut into halves
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 2 tbsp capers
- A large bunch of dill, finely chopped
- 85g watercress
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 50g almonds
- 12 asparagus spears
- Sea salt & pepper
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 oranges
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for approximately twenty minutes (less if the potatoes are very new), until tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the fennel by discarding the hard root and thick outer later. Slice very thinly and place in a large bowl. Finely chop the dill, then mix with the fennel along with the capers and watercress. Add the lemon juice, plus a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside.
Make your dressing by mixing the juice of both oranges along with the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Pulse the almonds in a food processor to break them up. Set aside to serve later.
Fill and boil a kettle. Trim the asparagus spears, removing the woody ends, then put into a saucepan with the boiled water from the kettle for two minutes. Remove the asparagus, then immediately plunge into iced water and pat dry. Meanwhile, heat your griddle pan until very hot. Toss the dried asparagus spears in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil. Arrange the asparagus on the griddle pan in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches). Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side until nicely charred.
Once the potatoes are tender, drain and toss in a colander to break up slightly. Add to the salad bowl and mix well. Stir in the half the dressing.
To serve, pile the salad and potatoes onto plates, then top with the griddled asparagus, a drizzle of the remaining dressing, a sprinkling of almonds and a pinch of flaked sea salt.
NB: please excuse the incredibly yellow photos. We've got a new lampshade in the kitchen and I didn't realise quite how much colour it cast until it came to editing these photos...