Char grilled asparagus with herbs

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Spring and early summer is my favourite time of year, and fresh asapragus is one of the reasons why this is so. There is nothing so delicious as fresh asparagus (particularly if your childhood experiences of this vegetable involved a can opener, white bread and a toothpick) and this way of preparing it is spectacular. Like most vegetables when in season, asparagus needs only the lightest touch to make it irresistable. I serve the asparagus as a vegetable on the side with a summery lunch, as part of an antipasto platter, or with a softly poached egg. Go, make it now!

Serves 4

2 large bunches of fresh asparagus
a large handful of fresh herbs, finely chopped (parsley, chives and basil work really well)
a good tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
juice and finely grated rind of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper
30g feta cheese, crumbled

Heat a grilled pan over a medium high heat. Do not add oil to the pan. I learned this tip from Jamie Oliver, and any tip from Jamie is a tip to remember, in my opinion. Place the asparagus in the hot pan and grill until the asparagus is lightly charred and bright green. This will take about 5 – 6 minutes. Take off the heat and pour over the olive oil and lemon juice. Shake the pan until all the asparagus is shiny and coated with the lemony and olive oil goodness. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle over the herbs, lemon rind, a little salt, a good grind of black pepper and the feta cheese.

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