Asparagus panna cotta, truffle popcorn, hen’s egg and bacon

The Recipes / Vegetables

Lindeth Howe, Cumbria

3 bunches English asparagus 500ml double cream
250ml chenin blanc white wine 10 leaves bronze gelatine soaked in cold water

100g corn kernels
40ml rapeseed oil
50ml English white truffle oil 8 slices crispy cooked Cumbrian pancetta
4 free range eggs

Serves 8

Snap the asparagus stems and discard the woody parts. Blanch the remainder in boiling salted water for 5 minutes and refresh in iced water. Cut off the tips at 3cm in length: keep the tips for garnish. Return the stems to the water and boil for a further 5 minutes then refresh in the iced water. Purée the stems in a food processor until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve. Measure out 250ml of purée into a bowl: retain the rest for serving.

Bring the cream and wine to the boil together. Squeeze the soaked gelatine leaves dry. Take the pan off the heat and stir the gelatine into the cream and wine to dissolve. Stir together the asparagus purée and cream mixture, season with salt and cayenne pepper, and pour into a 25cm square plastic tray. Set for 2 hours in the fridge. Crisp the pancetta in the oven at low temperature. Lay on paper towels to dry.

Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan. Add the truffle oil and corn kernels when hot, cover with a tightly fitting lid and allow to pop for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Boil the eggs for 6 minutes and refresh in cold water. Peel, cut in half, and season with salt and pepper.

To present, cut out and arrange a disc of panna cotta on the plate, with a swipe of the asparagus purée. Toss the asparagus tips in truffle oil and white balsamic and arrange on the plate. Place half an egg and a pancetta rasher on each panna cotta and sprinkle with truffle popcorn.