The pinnacle of spring vegetables for me would have to be asparagus. Asparagus dries out pretty quickly so always choose pert stems and cook them within a day or two of purchase. White asparagus is a special treat and works well in this recipe, if you can find it.
3 bunches of asparagus
1 tsp almond oil
1 tbsp picked tarragon or chervil leaves
1 tbsp dijon mustard
80ml olive oil
1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed of excess salt and chopped
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
2 tbsp chopped cornichons
2 tbsp finely diced shallots
1 tsp lemon juice
1. To make the egg sauce, bring a pot of water to the boil and add eggs. Maintain at a gentle simmer and cook for six minutes. Remove eggs and plunge into ice water. When cool, peel and mash in a bowl with the mustard. Gradually whisk in the oil and when incorporated, stir in the remaining ingredients. Season and place in the fridge until ready to use.
2. Trim the woody ends from the asparagus and drop spears into a pot of boiling salted water. Cook for two minutes until barely cooked through. Refresh in ice water, drain and leave to dry on a tea towel for a few minutes before dressing in almond oil and a pinch of salt.
3. To serve, spoon half the egg sauce onto a platter. Arrange the asparagus on top and spoon remaining sauce over the spears. Scatter the leaves over the dish and serve immediately.
For a Sunday spring lunch, serve with my roast chicken and garlic, lemon and parsley salad and poached rhubarb, yoghurt and rose granita with raspberries.
Find more of Andrew McConnell's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.