First make the mashed potatoes, place the warm mash into a bowl, add the milk and butter and stir well. Finally add the nutmeg, chopped olives and chives and mix well. You may need to add a little more milk to get a smooth, but not runny mash cover and keep warm.
Next place the onion into a bowl, add the water, mustard, vinegar and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Its good to put the salt and pepper in at this stage so they dissolve.
Gradually add the oil in a thin stream until you have a nice dressing, if the vinaigrette splits then don’t worry too much, just make sure you stir well before serving.
Heat a griddle or frying pan, brush the asparagus spears with the olive oil and season well.
Place in the hot griddle pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, so they take a nice colour.
You may have to cook in a couple of batches. The asparagus will become limp.
To serve, spoon a nice blob of mash into the middle of a hot plate, lay 5 pieces of cooked asparagus over the mash and finally drizzle over a little dressing.
Don’t go overboard with the dressing, it’s very powerful.
A nice glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc is perfect accompaniment.
Prep time: 20 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
20 English, young, asparagus spears
2 tbsp olive oil
½ small onion, chopped very finely
3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp cold water
5 tbsp sunflower oil
salt and freshly milled black pepper
450g raw, peeled potatoes cooked until soft and mashed
75g melted unsalted butter
150mls approx warm milk
pinch ground nutmeg
20 pitted black olives chopped roughly
2 tbsp roughly chopped chives