Roasting is a surprisingly nifty cooking method for asparagus, quickly rendering this delicious vegetable tender and slightly caramelised. Mingled with earthy little new potatoes, salty halloumi cheese and a generous squeeze of lemon, it makes a fantastic early summer supper.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Cut the potatoes into similarsized, small chunks. Put them in a large roasting tray with the garlic, add the olive oil and some salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, snap the woody ends from the asparagus and cut the spears into 3–4cm lengths. Cut the halloumi into 2cm cubes.
Take the potatoes from the oven, add the asparagus and halloumi and toss to combine. You don’t want the tray to be too crowded – everything should be in a single layer. Return the tray to the oven for 15 minutes until the asparagus is tender and the cheese is starting to caramelise. Discard the garlic.
Add a generous spritz of lemon juice and toss everything again, then transfer to a serving dish. Scatter with parsley, if using, and some more black pepper. Serve straight away - with wedges of sourdough bread, if you really want to make a meal of it.