Mark Hix – Asparagus salad with Black Cow fritters

Hix Black Cow Deluxe Cheddar Fritter SaladServes 4

Deep frying little nuggets of cheese gives a salad like this a great texture, they perform the duty of a crouton, but are so much tastier.

250-300g medium asparagus, woody ends trimmed 
1 Black Cow truckle, cut into rough 2cm cubes 
2 tbsp flour for dusting, seasoned 
1 egg, beaten 
3-4 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs 
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying 
A couple handfuls of small salad leaves like rocket, land cress, red mustard leaf, bulls blood etc 
A few sticks of fine chives, cut into 3-4cm lengths
For the dressing
1 tbsp tarragon vinegar • 2 tsp Tewksbury mustard • 1 clove of garlic, peeled • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil • 3 tbsp vegetable or corn oil • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Step by Step

First, make the vinaigrette. Put all the ingredients into a clean bottle or jar. Give them a good shake and leave to infuse for an hour or so, or overnight at room temperature.
Cut the asparagus spears in half on the angle and cook in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes or until tender then drain and leave to cool.
Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180°C in a large thick bottomed saucepan.
Carefully roll the cheese in the flour, shaking off any excess then pass through the egg, again shaking off any excess and finally through the crumbs.
Fry the cheese in a couple batches for about a minute or until the crumbs are golden then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper. To assemble the salad, toss the asparagus with the salad leaves and dressing and season. and scatter with the chives.
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