British asparagus comes into season soon and is star of this colourful, warm salad. If serving eight, use three balls of burrata, otherwise two will happily feed six as a starter.
2-3 balls burrata
400g cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 garlic clove, sliced
100g kalamata olives, pitted and roughly torn
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
600g asparagus, ends trimmed
Large handful basil leaves
Crusty bread, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Take the burrata out of the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to serve it.
- Toss the tomatoes, 3 tbsp oil and the garlic in a medium roasting tin. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir the olives and vinegar into the tin, season everything and roast for a final 8-10 minutes until the tomatoes are nicely blistered.
- Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Toss the asparagus with the remaining 1 tbsp oil. It’s easiest to cook in two batches: add half the asparagus to the pan making sure they are in an even layer and cook for 2 minutes without moving. Give them a shake then cook for another 3-4 minutes, turning or shaking regularly, until tender and charred all over. Remove them from the pan then scatter with a little salt. Repeat with the remaining asparagus.
- Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter, then spoon over the hot tomatoes and olives plus all their lovely juices, and finally place the burrata on top. Scatter with basil, grind over a little black pepper and serve with plenty of crusty bread for mopping up the juices.
Olly’s wine pairing
THE BEST VERDICCHIO 2020 (12.5%), £7, Morrisons. A breezy bargain to kick off your feast! This oft overlooked Italian white pairs wonderfully with aromatic asparagus. It also delivers a cooling cascade of refreshment to work with the zingy tomatoes and rich texture to complement that creamy lush burrata.