Asparagus and watercress mousse


Make the most of the short asparagus season with this pretty recipe which makes a lovely starter or original canape.

Serves: 6
Preparation: 60 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes

For the biscuits:
100g grated parmesan
50g butter, melted
25g plain flour
1 medium egg, beaten
100g mixed salted nuts roughly chopped
For the mousse:
500g asparagus, washed and trimmed
100g watercress
300ml double cream
1 red onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

For the parmesan biscuits:

Heat oven to 170°C or 150°C (fan), and line a large oven tray with baking parchment.

Mix the parmesan and flour and add the melted butter.

Add the beaten egg, and mix until you have a uniform dough.

Mix in the chopped nuts.

Spoon teaspoons of mixture to form small 2/3 cm circles leaving at least 2cm between them.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits to cool.

Store in an airtight box if not using immediately.

For the mousse:

Cut the trimmed asparagus stalks in 3cm pieces. Put the stalks aside.

Heat your grill to high, brush the asparagus tips with olive oil, season them and grill until just soft.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil ina pan and add the red onion.

Once the onion is golden, add the asparagus stalks, the watercress (reserving a few leaves for decoration) and 100ml of water.

Cook, stirring for a few minutes until they have softened.

Put the vegetables in a liquidiser, add the double cream, and parmesan, and blend for 3 minutes until you obtain a smooth mousse or velouté. Season to taste.

Serve the mousse in small cups or on small plates and garnish with watercress, the grilled asparagus tips and some broken pieces of parmesan and nut biscuits

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