Balmain bug with asparagus and basil

Australian Gourmet Traveller salad recipe for Balmain bug with asparagus and basil
Balmain bug with asparagus and basil

Balmain bug with asparagus and basil

William Meppem

For a lavish fast and fabulous dinner, we’ve used sweet, delicate bug meat. The accompanying sauce is inspired by a dish served at Melbourne’s MoVida.


Red sauce



1.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.
2.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).
3.Meanwhile, blanch asparagus in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes or until just cooked, then drain.
4.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.

Drink Suggestion: Marlborough sauvignon blanc. Drink suggestion by Max Allen


Related stories