- ½ small red onion
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 2 tsp white-wine vinegar
- ½ tsp aged balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
- 400g asparagus spears, woody bases removed
- 3 small ripe tomatoes (around 200g)
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped mint
- 100g fresh and crumbly cheese
- Maldon sea salt and black pepper
- First, cut the onion into 0.5cm dice and place in a bowl along with the garlic, both vinegars, the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Stir, then set aside so the onion and garlic will soften and mellow a little.
- Make an ice bath by filling a bowl with ice and cold water. Bring a pan of water to a boil, drop in the asparagus and cook for two minutes. Drain, plunge the spears into the ice bath to stop the cooking, then drain and dry.
- Heat a ridged griddle pan until almost smoking, then lay in a few spears at a time, perpendicular to the grill lines. Cook for two minutes a side, just until you get nice char marks, remove and leave to cool. Repeat with the remaining spears.
- Quarter the tomatoes, remove and discard the seeds, and use a small, sharp knife to cut them into just under 1cm square dice. Add the tomatoes and herbs to the marinating onion, season and stir gently.
- Arrange the asparagus on serving plates and spoon the tomato salsa around their centre. Use your fingers coarsely to crumble the cheese and sprinkle over the salsa. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil over the tips and bases of asparagus, and possibly also a sprinkle of salt, depending on the saltiness of the cheese.
* Recipe Yotam Ottolenghi for the Guardian