Asparagus with capers, lemon and herbs

Serves 4

This is a simple asparagus starter with a crunchy, savoury and acidic crust. This kind of crust is used a lot in Italian cookery for various dishes, even scattered on pasta.

400g or so of asparagus with woody ends removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil or melted butter to serve

For the topping

60g fresh white breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
40g butter, melted
40g capers, drained and chopped
The finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
1tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
1tbsp chopped parsley

Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, depending on the size, until tender, then drain.

Mix all of the ingredients for the topping together and season.

Arrange the asparagus on warmed serving plates, pour over the melted butter or olive oil and scatter the topping over.

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