Asparagus has a unique flavour of being fresh and crisp, but at the same time having an earthy undertone and cooked correctly can be delicious as anything from a starter, quick snack or to accompany a main course. Because it is quite subtle, asparagus is classically paired with rich and salty flavours such as bacon, sharp balsamic or rich and creamy egg.
Buttered asparagus, hollandaise dipping sauce
This is a great afternoon snack or, with a small salad, can be transformed into a delicious starter. The rich hollandaise marries perfectly with the asparagus to create an amazing dipping sauce.
- 6 asparagus spears
- 50ml white wine vinegar
- 2 egg yolks
- 125g butter
Start by placing the white wine vinegar into a saucepan and reduce down by half.
Place the butter in a pan on a low heat and melt. Pour the butter into a jug, trying not to add any of the buttermilk. As the butter melts, it separates and you will have clear butter (clarified butter) on top and then a white, milkish residue at the bottom (buttermilk).
Place the reduced vinegar with the yolks and then whisk until combined then slowly pour the hot butter over the mixture whilst continuously whisking (if you pour too quickly the mix will split).
If successful, you will end up with a thick, warm, rich and creamy sauce, ready for dipping your asparagus.
To prepare the asparagus, bend each spear individually and let it snap naturally. Discard the bottom.
Place a pan of water on the stove and season generously with salt. Once boiling, drop in the asparagus spears and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender and serve immediately.