Seasonal Asparagus at its best

I have always loved fresh asparagus so this is a good time of the year for me to enjoy the very best of British Asparagus. When the produce is this good, I believe that it needs to be treated with respect and prepared and cooked to be able to enjoy it at its best. At other times of the year I would be happy to put asparagus in a risotto, pasta or as part of a mixed vegetable side dish tossed with peas, tender stem broccoli, lemon and butter. But for now, it takes centre stage.

My last two asparagus dishes I made were definitely crowd pleasers in my house – so much so that one of my hungry teens said they had made him like asparagus far more than he did before!

The classic combination of Asparagus and Hollandaise is one of my favourites. Simply boiled asparagus (in boiling water, a little salt and just until they are tender) served with homemade Hollandaise.

I followed a classic hollandaise recipe but added in some fresh tarragon from my garden. It probably took me about 5 minutes in total so really wasn’t an arduous task for something so delicious!

  • 125g Butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Fresh Tarragon – chopped
  • lemon juice

Melt 125g butter and skim any white solids from the surface. Keep the butter warm. 

Put 2 egg yolks, ½ tsp white wine or tarragon vinegar, a pinch of salt and a splash of ice-cold water in a metal or glass bowl that will fit over a small pan.

Whisk for a few mins, then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously until pale and thick, about 3 mins.

Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter, bit by bit until it’s all incorporated and you have a creamy hollandaise. 

A couple of days later, I made roasted asparagus with miso butter. Just trim the woody ends off and rinse. The put in a single layer in a roasting tray with some olive oil and salt and roast in a hot oven for about 10 minutes – until they still have bite but are tender.

Miso butter was a revelation… and so easy! I looked at various recipes online and came up with something that I felt with work with the asparagus best using minimum ingredients.

I mixed 3 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter with 3 tablespoons of white miso. I added 1/2 tsp of sriracha chilli and 1 crushed small clove of garlic. Mixed these all together and left it until ready to serve. I didn’t put it in the fridge as wanted it at room temperature so I could put a large dollop onto the asparagus just before serving. It was a lovely combination and the Miso butter is going to become part of my repertoire as I think it will be delicious on tenderstem broccoli, salmon, grilled chicken and maybe even barbecued steak.

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