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Since Mr. English loves asparagus—and sometimes love is making what the person you love loves for dinner—I recently cooked him some, despite that asparagus is best in the spring, especially here in England. During the short asparagus season, the whole country explodes with asparagus soups, salads, pies, and sides.
But this dish isn't much of a sacrifice; it's the perfect way to perk up your out-of-season asparagus. I toss them with old-style whole-grain French mustard for a tart and tangy crunch, rosemary for woodsy richness that mirrors the asparagus, olive oil and sea salt to attain that perfect roasted crunch, and lemon zest that explodes and exposes all the flavors like a flashbulb on an old-world camera. This simple, easy dish works great nestled next to roast chicken, pork, or fish, chopped and piled onto a salad, or layered into a ham sandwich.