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Balmain bug with asparagus and basil

You'll need

4 thin slices of sourdough bread 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve 1 clove of garlic, halved 1 bunch of asparagus, halved widthways 6 cooked Balmain bug tails, peeled ½ cup (loosely packed) basil leaves   Red sauce 2 red capsicums 180 ml (¾ cup) extra-virgin olive oil 65 gm (about 1½ slices) sourdough bread, crusts removed 3 tsp sherry vinegar 1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped


  • 01
  • For red sauce, preheat oven to 220C. Drizzle capsicums with 1 tsp oil in a roasting pan, turn to coat and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until skins are deep golden, then place in a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand for 5 minutes or until skins can easily be peeled. Peel, discarding skin, then halve and discard seeds. Transfer to a blender, add bread, vinegar and garlic and process to combine. With motor running, add remaining oil, a drop at a time, then in a thin steady stream until incorporated. Season to taste and set aside.
  • 02
  • Preheat a chargrill pan over high heat. Brush bread with olive oil and grill for 1 minute on each side or until deep golden, then rub with cut side of garlic (discard garlic).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, blanch asparagus in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes or until just cooked, then drain.
  • 04
  • Spoon red sauce onto plates, arrange grilled bread, asparagus and Balmain bug tails on top, scatter with basil, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.

At A Glance

  • Serves 2 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 2 people

Drink Suggestion

Marlborough sauvignon blanc.

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