You are probably thinking that I've gone overboard on the asparagus recipes lately, but the season is short, after all – so what's the harm in plugging one of our great British ingredients while it lasts? Well-flavoured mashed potato adjusted to the right consistency makes a perfect dipping sauce. I've flavoured the potato with some Parmesan but you could also use any mature cheese. Thicker asparagus tends to be much better for grilling as the thinner stuff tends to wilt to nothing.
1kg thick asparagus with the woody ends trimmed
Vegetable or corn oil for brushing
200g Jersey Royals, peeled
1tbsp grated parmesan
2tbsp double cream
Milk to mix
60g piece of Parmesan, shaved thinly with a sharp knife or peeler
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the Jersey Royals in boiling salted water, then drain and mash as fine as possible in a potato ricer or with a masher. Mix in the grated Parmesan, butter cream and enough milk to make the potato into a sauce-like consistency and season to taste.
Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes or until it still has a bit of a crunch and drain. Heat a ribbed griddle or barbecue, brush with a little oil and lightly grill them for a few minutes. To serve, spoon the potato on to a warmed plate, place the asparagus on top and scatter with the shaved Parmesan.