‘Tis the season! The British asparagus season that is. For me, seeing asparagus in the greengrocers and on restaurant menus is one of the exciting, hopeful signs that summer is on its way (the season runs from late April- June). I was kindly sent a few bunches by the British Asparagus team this week, so I decided to make this recipe, mainly because I had feta in the fridge and thought it would be a good idea. Turns out, it was.
A quick note about the preserved lemon – you don’t necessarily need to buy it especially for this recipe if you don’t think you’ll use it in anything else (because only a very small amount is needed), BUT if you do happen to have some in the fridge, then I highly recommend it as I think it works amazingly with the feta. I use these ones, from Belazu.
Roasted asparagus & potato salad with feta yogurt
Serves 2 (but easily doubled)
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 40 mins
600g new potatoes / baby new potatoes
100g feta cheese
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
3 handfuls frozen peas
white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
handful fresh mint, leaves only
½ red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
½-1 preserved lemon, skin finely chopped (optional – see intro)
- Preheat oven to 200/180 fan. Halve the new potatoes (and quarter any that are really big) then cook for 5 minutes in salted boiling water. While these are par-boiling, pour a hefty drizzle of olive oil into a large non-stick roasting tray and put in the oven to heat. Drain your potatoes, run under cold water for a minute or so, then shake of excess water and carefully tip into the hot oiled roasting tray. Sprinkle with sea salt, then roast for 30-40 minutes, until soft in the middle and golden brown round the edges.
- Meanwhile, blitz the feta, Greek yogurt, the zest of half a lemon and a twist of cracked black pepper in a mini chopper, blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
- Snap or cut the hard bottoms off your asparagus spears. When the potatoes have been roasting for 20 minutes, add the asparagus (carefully shake the pan a bit to coat in the oil) and cook for another 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness of the asparagus), until both are cooked through and golden brown.
- In a small bowl, make a quick dressing by mixing 1 tbsp olive oil with ½ tbsp white wine or apple cider vinegar, the juice of half a lemon and some salt and pepper. Set aside for serving time. In another bowl, pour some just-boiled water over a few handfuls of frozen peas and leave to defrost for a few minutes.
- To serve, spread the lemony feta yogurt on the base of a large dinner plate or serving platter. Using a pair of tongs, place the roasted potatoes and asparagus on top. Drain your peas and scatter these over, then drizzle everything with the dressing. Finish with a handful of chopped fresh mint, a bit more grated lemon zest, plus a handful of very finely chopped preserved lemon and red chilli, if you like.