Asparagus savoury baked custards with hot smoked salmon salad

Featured in Country Style Christmas Issue 2017

Serves 4

2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
30g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 2 eggs
½ cup pure cream
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
50g mixed salad leaves
150g hot smoked salmon

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease four 2⁄3-cup capacity ovenproof ramekins.

Fill a large, deep frying pan with water and bring to boil over a high heat. Blanch asparagus spears for 3 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp. Drain and refresh in cold water. Trim asparagus spears 3cm from tips. Place asparagus tips in a bowl and set aside until required.

Roughly chop remaining asparagus and place in a food processor. Add grated parmesan, eggs and cream, then process until mixture is smooth. Season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Pour asparagus mixture evenly among prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in a baking dish. Pour enough hot water into baking dish to reach halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake for 1 hour or until custards are just set. Remove ramekins from baking dish and
set aside to cool.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Cook reserved asparagus tips, stirring occasionally, for 1–2 minutes or until golden. Transfer asparagus tips to a medium bowl and set aside to cool. Add salad leaves and toss to combine.

Carefully turn out baked custards and place on serving plates. Arrange hot smoked salmon and salad mixture around baked custards. Drizzle with remaining oil to serve.