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Grilled Wild Asparagus

Esparragos Trigueros A La Plancha - Asparagus served with salsa mayonesa (fresh mayo), sel marina (coarse sea salt) and choricitos fritos (sauteed sliced baby chorizos) is a simple dish. True wild asparagus grows on the edges of wheatfields in spring and is called triguerros after trigo, the Spanish word for 'wheat'. Sweet in flavour, it is a much paler green than our thin asparagus.

ingredients

serves 4
750 g thin asparagus
3 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

mayonesa

1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
150 ml olive oil
To serve
coarse sea salt
2 baby chorizos (choricitos), sliced, then fried without oil in a dry frying pan

method

1. To make the mayonesa, put the garlic, half the lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a few drops of water in a mortar and pound to a paste. Add the egg yolk, grinding with the pestle in one direction.

2. Gradually mix in the oil in drops. After adding 100 ml, add a little more of the lemon juice and continue slowly mixing in the oil until a thick emulsion forms. Taste and adjust the flavour with more salt and the remaining lemon juice if needed.

3. Alternatively, use a blender or small food processor, but you will have to double the ingredients or the mixture won't cover the blades. Cover any leftovers with clingfilm, chill and keep for another use.

4. Trim the asparagus and peel away the papery triangular bits from the stalk. Put the oil, salt and pepper in a shallow dish, add the asparagus and turn to coat.

5. Heat a ridged stove-top grill pan until smoking. Add the asparagus, a batch at a time, turning the spears over when grill marks appear. They will take 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 minutes on each side.

6. Serve while still hot with the mayonesa, sea salt and chorizos in small bowls.

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