Roast asparagus and little gems with lentils & boiled eggs
I like the way that roasting vegetables intensifies their flavours and caramelises the cut edges. It’s an easy win with roots and brassicas, but it also works surprisingly well here with spears of asparagus and wedges of tight-hearted little gem lettuces. The lentils and eggs make a fine fulfilling meal of it.
A bundle of asparagus (about 200g)
2 little gem lettuce, quartered lengthways
4–5 spring onions, trimmed
4 tbsp olive oil
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
2–3 tbsp cooked or tinned Puy lentils, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1–2 tsp English mustard, to taste
A small handful of roughly chopped parsley (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper
Dukka or tamari-roasted seeds to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Trim off the base of the asparagus spears if they look at all woody or tough.
Put the asparagus spears, lettuce wedges and spring onions into a roasting tin or oven dish, trickle with 2 tbsp olive oil, season with a pinch of salt and a twist of pepper and turn to coat. Roast for about 15 minutes until the asparagus is tender and everything is nicely golden.
Meanwhile, combine the chopped boiled eggs and lentils with the remaining 2 tbsp oil, the wine vinegar, mustard and chopped parsley, if using. Season with salt and pepper.
When the veg are cooked, allow them to sit for 10 minutes or so, then spoon on the egg mixture. Before serving, sprinkle with a handful of dukka or tamari-roasted seeds if you like.
Try courgettes, cut into long batons, or fennel, cut into wedges, instead of asparagus. You can also swap in chunks of leek or regular onion wedges for the spring onions. And feel free to swap out the lentils with tinned chickpeas or beans.