Asparagus with Fresh Herbs, Lemon & Cheese

You know spring is here when asparagus starts appearing in the shops. In this dish, asparagus sings with fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon and cheese with just a hint of chilli. A chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect match.

Ingredients (serves 4 as an entree or 6 as a side dish):
3 bunches of asparagus, spears of a similar thickness
100ml extra virgin olive oil
½ cup finely chopped fresh herbs (your choice, eg. chives, parsley, chervil, oregano – one or a combination)
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup freshly grated parmesan or gruyere cheese, or crumbled goats cheese

Method:
1. Fill a wide pan with water and bring to the boil.
2. Combine the olive oil, chopped fresh herbs, garlic, chilli flakes and lemon zest in a bowl. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Snap off the woody ends of each asparagus spear and trim the ends with a knife.
4. Cook the asparagus spears for 2-3 minutes (depending on thickness). Asparagus should be just tender.
5 Drain asparagus, toss with herb dressing and cheese of choice, reserving a little to sprinkle on top.
6. Serve with fresh crusty bread to mop up the dressing.

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