The Wye valley, in Herefordshire, near the Welsh border, has some of the best asparagus growing conditions in the country, with its light, sandy soil, south-facing slopes and sheltered microclimates. Combine this with a few wild summer plants, and you’ve got a distinctly Mediterranean dish, albeit made from quintessentially English ingredients.
– 4-5 Wye Valley asparagus spears
For the pesto:
– 2 large handfuls of nettle tops
– 1/2 handful toasted walnuts
– 5 wild garlic leaves
– Extra virgin rapeseed oil
– Salt to taste
- Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and cook in boiling salty water for one to two minutes.
- Blanch and refresh the greens, blend with the nuts, salt and enough oil to make a paste.
- To serve, assemble the asparagus onto plates, top with thin slices of lardo, (pork back fat), a few spoons of pesto, a drizzle of buttermilk and a little extra oil.