Asparagus pastry twists with millet aioli sauce

Is there anyone who has never eaten roasted asparagus wrapped in pastry? This slightly kitschy yet elegant way of preparing asparagus makes it great finger food or a seasonal snack. Why not trying a refreshed version of this classic with crispy, layered, homemade pastry and toasted sesame seeds? This dish goes very well with some yellow millet-based garlic sauce. A bunch of asparagus prepared this way can be also eaten as a filling seasonal dinner. And, in combination with a glass of chilled Riesling wine, it can get really springy and… maybe even luxurious?

Asparagus pastry twists

  • 1 bunch of green asparagus (or white peeled asparagus)
  • 1 cup of spelt flour (alternatively: wheat flour)
  • less than half a glass of warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or neutral oil
  • A few extra tbsps olive oil or neutral oil
  • 2-3 large pinches of salt, preferably salt flakes 
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper
  • A good handful of sesame seeds

1. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt with a tbsp of olive oil and water. Quickly knead a shapely ball of dough and put it in a bowl covered with a cloth for at least 10 minutes (during that time you can prepare the sauce and the asparagus).

2. Wash the asparagus and remove the woody ends. (If you are using white asparagus, peel it carefully.)

3. When the dough is rested, start kneading it properly. If you do it by hand, it should take a few minutes. Sprinkle the counter with flour and rub your hands with a little olive oil. After kneading the ball of dough for a few minutes, it should become smooth and elastic.

4. On the flour-covered counter, roll out the ball of dough into a very flat, oval-round shape.

5. Cover the entire surface of the dough with oil (about 2 tbsp) with a brush or your hands. 

6. Fold the dough in half and once again brush it with an extra portion of oil. Fold the dough in half again, making it multi-layered and more or less a triangular shape.

7. Gently sprinkle some flour on both the counter and the dough and proceed to the final rolling: this will bring the layers of dough back together. Roll it lengthwise, trying to form a long rectangle (see the photo). At this stage, sprinkle the rolled dough with sesame seeds, season generously with pepper, and sprinkle with salt. After that, roll it gently once again to press the sesame, pepper and salt into the dough.

8. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into strips to wrap the asparagus in. You can stick the dough more generously onto the lower ends of the asparagus, and then, with circular movement, fancifully wrap it along its length (see the photos). 

9. Put the dough-covered asparagus on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

7. Sprinkle the asparagus gently with some neutral oil or olive oil. Using your hands, rub the area around the asparagus “heads” – thanks to this it will bake nicely and will not burn in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes until the dough around the asparagus starts to brown.

Millet aioli sauce

  • 1/3 cup dry millet
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp mild vinegar: wine, rice or apple vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sweet syrup (for example agave)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (you can use raw garlic, but it would be best to roast it for 10/15 minutes along with the asparagus while the oven is still hot)
  • 2 tsp of mild mustard
  • a large pinch of pepper (preferably white)
  • a good pinch of turmeric
  • 100 ml (about 7 tbsp) unsweetened plant-based milk (soy, rice or oat)
  • 1/2 cup of oil (rapeseed or sunflower)
  • Optional: two tbsp yeast flakes
  1. Boil the millet for about 15 minutes in the following proportion: 1 portion of millet – 3 portions of water. 
  2. Place the cooled millet in a tall blending vessel. Add all the ingredients except for the oil and blend them thoroughly for 1-2 minutes. Then add the oil and blend the sauce again to a smooth, creamy texture. It should be fairly thin, maybe even a little runny as millet sauce thickens over time.