Baby cos cups with blue cheese and roasted walnuts

This lovely fresh starter or snack tantalises the taste buds with its wonderful flavour and texture contrasts.

Recipe from Australian Asparagus Council.

Ingredients:

8-12 asparagus spears, woody ends removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped (optional)
Salt flakes
Freshly ground pepper
8-12 baby Cos lettuce cups
8 -12 thin wedges of your favourite blue cheese
1/2 cup roasted walnuts (see Tip)
Reduced balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze (see Tip)

Directions:

1. Place asparagus on a tray or in a large bowl. Combine oil with garlic (if using) and add to asparagus. Using your hands, toss asparagus to coat with olive oil. Alternatively, use a pastry brush to brush mixture over spears. Sprinkle with salt flakes and pepper.

2. Heat BBQ or grill and cook asparagus over medium to high heat until just tender. Immediately remove from BBQ or grill to prevent further cooking.

3. Arrange baby Cos lettuce cups on a serving platter or serving plates and place a wedge of blue cheese in each one. Top with BBQ spears, sprinkle with roasted walnuts and drizzle with balsamic.

Tips:

  • To roast walnuts, place in a heavy based frying pan and heat over low to medium heat, shaking pan frequently until they are lightly browned and aromatic (taking care not to burn them).
  • Alternatively, spread walnuts evenly over a baking tray and roast in oven at 175ºC for 10-15 minutes.
  • You can purchase balsamic glaze at delicatessens and supermarkets.
  • For this recipe to be gluten-free, avoid using stocks, sauces and condiments containing wheat. Take care to check ingredient labels on all products you use.