Asparagus and ceps

Serves 4

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Asparagus are not usually around at the same time as British ceps, so it's great to be able to serve the two together in this recipe. I've also added a little polenta base here to make it more of a substantial main course or a vegetarian dish, but that's up to you.

200g asparagus with the woody ends removed
200-250g firm ceps, cleaned if necessary and cut into quarters if large
40g butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the polenta

400 milk
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
A pinch of nutmeg
35g quick cooking polenta
50-60ml double cream
40g freshly grated Parmesan

First make the polenta: bring the milk to the boil in a thick-bottomed pan, then add the garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Simmer for 5 minutes then whisk in the polenta.

Cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the cream and Parmesan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until tender, depending on the thickness.

While the asparagus is cooking, melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the ceps on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, seasoning them lightly as they are cooking.

Cut the asparagus into chunky lozenges on the angle and toss them in with the ceps.

Spoon the polenta on to warmed serving plates and scatter the asparagus and ceps on top.

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