White asparagus with sauce Hollandaise
White asparagus has a tougher structure than the green variety. Therefore, you must peel off the outside layer or it just tastes like bark. If you buy it at a market stall, many times the vendor will offer to peel it for you. This is a good idea if you plan on cooking it right away, but if you are like us, and it’s going to stay in the fridge until you get a chance to cook, you might want to peel it yourself.
1. Wash the white asparagus
2. Cut off the very bottom of the stalk, at least 3/4 of an inch. Make sure to leave the top intact. (It’s the best part!)
3. Take a vegetable peeler, and trim the outer skin.
White asparagus is very hardy. It has to be to thrive under a foot of soil, so it’s imperative to boil it for at least 7-10 minutes (my preference is about 15 minutes) before including it in a recipe. If you just want to butter it and serve it as a side dish, then you are finished. However, many of my recipes call for it to do more. Once it has been softened, it’s cooked, but you can grill it or bake it a little more if you need to.
100g Unsalted butter (melted, keep warm)
Pinch of Table salt
Pinch of White pepper
2 Egg yolks
100ml White wine
20mg Chopped shallots
5 Black peppercorns
1 Bay leaf
How to do
- Place the white wine, chopped shallots, black peppercorns and bay leaf into a pot and simmer till liquid has reduced. Remove from heat, strain and keep warm.
- Place a large mixing bowl over a bain-marie and whisk egg yolks until foamy. Pour in the white wine reduction and continue whisking until well-combined.
- Add in the melted butter, whisking continuously over the bain-marie until sauce is thick and creamy. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
In a large pot filled with lightly salted boiling water, add 10 asparagus stalks and cook them for 3 minutes, until they are bright green. Remove the boiled asparagus from the pot and cool them immediately by running them under cold water or dropping them into a bowl filled with ice water — but don’t leave them in there for a long time. Pat dry and serve cold or at room temperature. The boiled asparagus can also be quickly grilled, sauteed or stir-fried.
We like to wrap it up with smoked ham or smoked salmon, topped with some sprinkled parmesan cheese.
White asparagus soup
500 g asparagus
500 ml water
1 cube of vegetable broth or poultry of your choice
20 cl of fresh cream
How to do
- For yourasparagus soup, start by peeling and draining the asparagus. When they are clean, cut the tips of the asparagus.Reserve them. Put the rest of the asparagus in a small casserole with the water, the bouillon cube, the onion and the shallot minced.
- Put on low heatand cook for 30 minutes. Check the cooking by pricking with a knife tip. If the knife sinks easily, it means that your asparagus is cooked.
- Whenyour asparagus is sufficiently cooked, mix everything in the blender.
- Add freshcream,salt and pepper to restore the velvety consistency.
- Put the soup in the casserole, add the asparagus tips. Warm gently before serving.
Text and photos: Anne Lommel