Spring 2021

Helen Graham’s Asparagus with Wild Garlic & Preserved Lime

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Asparagus with wild garlic and lime


50g Wild garlic washed, tough stems removed and roughly chopped

125g Unsalted butter at room temperature

30g Preserved limes, finely chopped as per recipe plus extra to garnish

80g Panko breadcrumbs

1 Bunch of asparagus

100ml Double cream

Juice of half lemon

For the preserved limes

1 Sterilized jar

3 Limes

1 Tsp Maldon Salt

100ml Rapeseed oil


In this beautifully seasonal recipe, Maldon Salt is used to cure and preserve fresh limes which adds a really special mellow tang to the dish. The further in advance you can do the limes, the better they will be. You want to cure them for a minimum of 3 days. This recipe will give you a little too much wild garlic butter but makes a great addition to your fridge and can be used to make deluxe garlic bread or used instead of butter to add extra flavour to stews or pasta sauces.

Slice the limes as thinly as you can. Take your jar and place them in layers, sprinkling the Maldon salt equally between them. Press down as you go so they are all compressed and then pour over the oil. It is really important that the limes are totally submerged in the oil or else they will mould. Seal tightly and leave in a cool dark place or the fridge for at least 3 days. 

Place your wild garlic, butter, preserved limes and a pinch of Maldon Salt in the blender and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a container and set aside. 

Next, for your crispy panko garnish: heat 1tbsp olive oil in a pan, add your panko and stir until all the crumbs are coated in the oil. Toast on a medium heat until golden brown, season with a pinch of Maldon and set aside.

To blanch your asparagus, bring a pan of water to the boil, and season with 1tsp table salt. Trim the woody stems from your asparagus and blanch for 3 mins.

Take a small pan and add 50g of the wild garlic butter and 100ml of double cream. Bring to the boil, stir and season to taste with Maldon and lemon juice. 

To serve, spoon the garlic sauce onto the bottom of your serving dish, top with the asparagus and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and remaining preserved lime. 

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