Shally Tucker’s baked asparagus with crisps


JC food is loving a new cookery book, The Social Kitchen, produced by Dani Tucker and her family, of recipes written by her late mother Shally Tucker.The Tuckers published the book to raise money for charity, Dermatrust, which supports people with skin diseases, like the ones Shally suffered from. One of the most professional charity cookery books we have seen, you can read all about it and the role Pru Leith played in its publication here.

Dani says: Cheese and onion crisps are our family favourite for the topping on this dish, but experiment with the flavours you love best, such as cracked black pepper or chilli.

Serves: 8–10


750g asparagus

50g butter

50g plain flour

50g cheddar cheese, grated

1 lemon

50g cheese and

onion crisps

Vegetable oil

Salt and white pepper


● Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.

● Trim off the tough woody ends of the asparagus.

● Bring a pan of water to the boil, season it with salt, then add the asparagus and blanch it for 2 minutes. Making sure you keep that lovely flavourful cooking water, drain the asparagus and put it in a medium-sized ovenproof dish.

● Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat, then stir in the flour. Gradually add the asparagus cooking water, stirring constantly so the sauce doesn't go lumpy.

● Boil the sauce for a couple of minutes while stirring, then take the pan off the heat. Season the sauce with a pinch of salt and some white pepper, then add half the grated cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.

● Crush the crisps and scatter them over the top with the rest of the grated cheese, then drizzle with a little oil.

● Bake the asparagus in the hot oven for 10–20 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

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