Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Grilled asparagus with vegetable crumble

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
From Kew on a Plate
Asparagus served in the classic way is delicious, but I wanted to mix the flavours of the spring with the warmer flavours and textures of the summer. I’ve spiced things up a little with the slight smokiness that comes from griddling or barbecuing asparagus, a large sprinkling of smoked paprika and a hint of chilli.


  1. For the paprika dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. For the hard-boiled eggs and grilled asparagus, using a spoon, slide the eggs gently into a small pan of water. Bring to a simmer for 13 minutes, then remove the eggs and immediately run them under cold water. While still warm, peel the eggs then transfer to the fridge. Once cold, separate the whites from the yolks and coarsely grate each part (keep them separated), then set aside.

  3. Lay five asparagus spears side by side and secure them together using two metal skewers (thread a skewer through each end of the asparagus, avoiding the tips, so that the spears are kept straight). Repeat with the remaining asparagus. Blanch in a large saucepan of boiling water for 3 minutes, then immediately plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking and dry well (leave them on the skewers).

  4. To cook the asparagus, heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Brush the skewered spears lightly with olive oil. When the pan is hot, lay the asparagus in it, flat, and leave for 3 minutes to gain deep griddle marks. Turn over using tongs and griddle for another 3 minutes. (If necessary do the griddling in batches; simply keep the asparagus warm in an oven preheated to 80C/60C Fan/Gas ¼ while you grill the remaining asparagus.)

  5. For the vegetable crumble, in a large frying pan or sauté pan over a high heat, add the olive oil and fry the courgettes, cauliflower, shallot, chilli, paprika and a pinch of salt for 30 seconds. Add 80ml/3fl oz water, the lemon juice, parsley, chives and grated egg white. Boil for 5 seconds then remove from the heat. Stir in the egg yolk and check the seasoning.

  6. To serve, put a spoonful of the vegetable crumble in the centre of each plate and arrange a stack of the grilled asparagus on top. Finish with a drizzle of the paprika dressing.


For the paprika dressing

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

For the hard-boiled eggs and grilled asparagus

  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 20 green asparagus spears, woody ends removed
  • 90–120ml/3-4fl oz refined olive oil

For the vegetable crumble

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 80g/3oz baby courgettes (about 2½), pulsed in a food processor for 30 seconds
  • 80g/3oz cauliflower, pulsed in a food processor for 30 seconds
  • 30g/1oz banana shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 large pinches of smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10g fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5g fresh chives, chopped

Shopping List

Grilled asparagus with vegetable crumble

Fruit and vegetables

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

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