Pan-roasted asparagus with wild garlic and white bean hummus, spring onion and hazelnut pesto

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Joey O'Hare serves up a stunning salad of asparagus, served atop a cannellini bean hummus recipe delicately flavoured with seasonal wild garlic. A spring onion and hazelnut pesto top off this elegant vegan starter beautifully, with the spring onions lightly roasted to bring out their natural sweetness.

First published in 2017

This recipe is a celebration of two ingredients that are the very definition of early summer. I was extraordinary lucky recently to go to L’Enclume with a friend; the hedgerows surrounding Simon Rogan’s 'Our Farm' were bursting with wild garlic and we couldn’t resist picking a bunch to bring back to London with us. That very weekend English asparagus appeared at my local farmers’ market for the first time and I couldn’t wait to pair the two together.

Here, the asparagus spears are simply grilled in a hot pan to char well but retain a good bite, and the wild garlic is whizzed through a white beans hummus. They combine here to make a wonderful starter for four people, or a hearty salad to serve with some leafy greens and fresh bread perhaps, if you are looking to serve this as a meal in itself.




Grilled asparagus

Spring onion and hazelnut pesto

Wild garlic and white bean hummus

To garnish


  • Food processor or blender


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
To begin, make the spring onion and hazelnut pesto. Top and tail the spring onions and cut into 1cm lengths. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, season with a pinch of sea salt and roast for 8 minutes
Allow the spring onions to cool slightly before mixing with the chopped hazelnuts, finely chopped parsley, cider vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning
To make the white bean hummus, purée the cannellini beans, wild garlic leaves, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, cumin and seasoning until you have a smooth hummus
When you're ready to cook, cut the tough woody root end from each asparagus spear. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, add the asparagus – they should sizzle immediately. You may need to do this in two batches. Season with sea salt
Cook for 2–4 minutes only, depending on thickness, to char the exterior of the asparagus yet retain a good texture. Add the chopped thyme for the final 15 seconds of cooking, then transfer the spears onto a square of kitchen roll to cool slightly before serving
Spoon some hummus onto each plate, followed by 4 asparagus spears and a generous dollop and drizzle of the roasted spring onion pesto. Garnish with some baby leaves and wild garlic flowers and serve immediately

Joey has worked as a chef for ten years, both in London restaurants and in private homes across the UK and abroad. Joey’s latest project, Food with Time, explores ideas of sustainability within the food and farming industries, as well as the importance of a seasonal, veg-centric diet for both the environment and the individual.

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