Asparagus Wrapped in Culatello (serves 4)
A simple but luxurious starter. Try it with our easy saffron mayonnaise or give each person a soft-boiled egg for dipping.
12 asparagus spears
12 slices of Marsh Pig culatello
1 tspn olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A drizzle of truffle oil (optional)
For the saffron mayonnaise:
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
300 ml light olive oil
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp made English mustard
Small pinch of saffron strands, soaked in 1 tbsp hot water
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Put the egg and egg yolk, salt, mustard and 1 tbsp of lemon juice in a food processor and pulse briefly to blend. Add the oil in a slow but steady stream through the hole in the lid. The mayonnaise will thicken as the oil emulsifies with the egg. Stir in the saffron and its water. Check the seasoning, adding more lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and decant into a bowl.
Trim the asparagus by snapping off the woody part where they bend, neaten the ends and place the spears in a roasting tin and toss with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 10 minutes until tender but still crisp.
Remove to a plate lined with kitchen roll. When cool enough to handle, wrap each spear in a slice of culatello. Put on a serving dish and drizzle, if you like, with a little truffle oil. Serve with the saffron mayonnaise.