It’s a week until Easter and you’re still probably wondering what to make? We always think of asparagus, but because of the extended cold snap this year, we’ll have to be patient a little longer. Hopefully you’ll be able to get your hands on some white gold, the first of the season’s Dutch white asparagus just in time.
24 white asparagus
400g sliced smoked salmon
1 bunch tarragon
250 ml tub cream
200 g butter
200 ml white wine
6 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel the white asparagus and cut off a 1 cm piece from the tough stalk end. Finely chop the shallots. Place the asparagus in a pan with cold water and salt, place the asparagus peelings on top and bring to the boil. Boil for 1 minute, turn off the heat and allow the asparagus to stand in the hot water for about 2 minutes.
Heat a pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and sweat the shallots for 5 minutes. Add 200 ml white wine and simmer until reduced by three-quarters. Add the tub of cream and simmer until reduced by half.
Remove the asparagus from the water and discard the peelings. Dry the asparagus on a clean tea towel. Drizzle over 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over medium heat and grill the asparagus until golden brown.
Strain the sauce to remove the shallot and return to the pan over a low heat. Cut the butter into pieces and whisk into the sauce. Pick the tarragon leaves off the stalks and chop finely.
Divide the grilled asparagus between 4 plates and lay the smoked salmon on top. Stir the tarragon through the sauce and spoon over the asparagus.