The Asparagus Course

The Asparagus Course

Asparagus—one of the venerable rites of culinary springtime. Sautéed? Roasted? Covered with an herbed béchamel? Or would that be akin to gilding the lily? Then the second question. Is this springtime jewel a side dish, or its own divine course? If you opt for the latter, consider this most elegant presentation, almost the essence of asparagus—a few seconds to blanch, a plunge in ice water, a little melted butter and a soupçon of sea salt. Arriving at the table on its own service of course.

• Wash asparagus thoroughly in cold water
• Gently snap off the tough bottoms—bend stalk until it breaks naturally
• Prepare an ice water bath to allow stalks to completely submerge
• Briefly blanch by dropping stalks into a flat pan of boiling water—15 seconds for thin stalks, a little longer for thicker stalks
• Plunge blanched stalks into ice bath and let sit for about 20 seconds—drain and dry
• Serve as described above

The Kitchen Hive

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