CRISPY ASPARAGUS STICKS! With cheese-tomato dip

Early Friday evening, balcony aperitivo time. Someone is drinking acerol spritz, wondering if there should be some more prosecco in it. Meanwhile there is a small debate going on, about how bitter campari spritz should be. And I am slowly sipping my favorite negroni. The sun is shining, pink geraniums are blooming in the balcony boxes. “Spitting Off the Edge of the World”, the new single from Yeah Yeah Yeahs is playing in the background. Then, all of the sudden, a plate with freshly fried, incredibly crunchy asparagus sticks appears on the table. Sprinkled with some lemon juice, crispy, beautifully green inside. Together in a duo with a cheese-tomato dip, crispy asparagus sticks seem to take over this evening. It’s great to start June this way.

Crispy asparagus sticks

  • 1 bunch of green asparagus, not the thin ones (500g)
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (apple, wine or rice)
  • 1 flat tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp powder garlic
  • a lot of black pepper
  • 2 cups corn flakes
  • 1.5-2 cups rapeseed oil for frying
  • half a lemon to sprinkle with juice

Cheese and tomato potato dip

  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes from the jar
  • 3 tbsp oil from sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (apple, wine or rice)
  • 3 tbsp of yeast flakes
  • 1 flat tsp of smoked paprika
  • salt to taste

1. Let’s start with the sauce. Peel the potatoes and carrots, and dice them. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Cook until tender in salted water, with the lid on (around 15 minutes).

2. Put the cooked, drained vegetables and other ingredients in a tall vessel, convenient for blending. Blend everything thoroughly. If desired, add a little salt, hot sauce or water (if the sauce is too thick).

3. Serve with crispy asparagus sticks or other salty snacks such as tortilla chips. Dip tastes best at least a little chilled.

Asparagus sticks

1. Break off the hard ends of the asparagus (save and keep them for the veggie stock, you can store them in the freezer). Cut the asparagus in half.

2. In a larger bowl, combine the chickpea flour (usually requires sieving), water, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, garlic, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Place corn flakes in the other bowl. Take a moment to crush them with your hands. Leave some small and some big pieces for breading.

3. Dip the asparagus in the chickpea batter, then, using the other hand, roll in the crushed flakes. Put on the side, for example on the cutting board. Repeat with all the asparagus.

4. Heat a lot of oil in a medium pot. Put the first stick in for a test. It should fry nicely and turn brown after 4-5 minutes. Put a maximum of 10-15 pieces in the oil. Place the fried asparagus on a paper towel before serving.

5. They taste great when freshly fried, but also cooled, served in a room temp. Delicious when sprinkled with some lemon juice.