If you ever get the chance to go to Nice in France, I can highly recommend you make a reservation at the Michelin star restaurant called RESTAURANT JAN. Head chef and owner Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen is South African and I could not be more proud of this fellow South African.
I had the privilege to experience Restaurant JAN in all its glory! There is something to be said about receiving the full package. Amazing ambiance, elegant table styling, charming host, perfect service and then we have not even gotten to the food yet, like I said A M A Z I N G!!!
Anyhoo, Jan also writes a blog and I subscribe to his magazine JAN the Journal with loads of scrumptious recipes. This recipe is one of his BBQ (or braai as we call it in South Africa) recipes. His recipe calls for the asparagus to be placed in the oven but I like to do it on the BBQ. I have adapted this recipe but have written both ways of cooking as an option.
It should not come as a surprise that he has put an elegant French spin on these BBQ asparagus, this man does everything in style! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
- 12 x spears green asparagus
- 4 x baby leeks, washed, halved lengthways and cut in half -or- 2 large leeks, washed, halved both lengthways and cut in half
- 4 x rashers bacon
- 4 x anchovy fillets
- 4 x sprigs thyme
- 4 x sprigs rosemary
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 x lemon
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lay the rashers of bacon flat on a working surface and place 3 spears asparagus, 1 halve of leek and 1 anchovy fillet on top.
- Place 1 sprig each of thyme and rosemary inside, wrap the bacon around the veg and tie up with kitchen string.
- Make sure the bunches are nice and tight. Sprinkle with olive oil and squeeze over the juice of the lemon.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- If using your oven, preheat to 180 °C or if putting it on the grill, you want medium-high heat coals.
- For the oven, place the asparagus in an ovenproof dish.
- Roast for 15–20 minutes until the bacon turns crispy.
- If grilling, place directly onto your grid until slightly charred and the bacon has gone crispy. (Turn regularly to make sure it does not burn)
- In both cases you want the asparagus to be al dente. (meaning it is cooked through but still has a crunch to the bite)
- Serve warm immediately.