One of our purchases at yesterday’s market in St. Cyprien was a bunch of white asparagus, as this delicacy made one of its début appearances of the season at several vegetable stalls (and one stall that was selling nothing but white asparagus).
Now I know what you’re thinking: Sure, Europeans like white asparagus, but for most people it’s a big yawn. Tasteless. Blah. Nothing to it. It’s just normal (green) asparagus that grows up under mounded earth, preventing the rays of the sun from burning through to the plant and unleashing the magic of chlorophyll. (A rather powerful sentence, that last one, I think.)
I get all that, but I still think that white asparagus is pretty good, and worth a try. With its milder flavour (milder than green asparagus, that is), it lends itself to some yummy sauces.
And so that was our dinner tonight — a few spears of white asparagus, steamed in the microwave, and then topped with a delicious and rich Hollandaise sauce, which my wife Jan had kicked up with some orange juice as well as lemon juice.
Never one to leave well enough alone, I decided that a few leaves of coriander (in the absence of chervil) would look nice with the dish, and so would a small spoonful of lumpfish caviar. See what you think:
The verdict? Both the asparagus and the sauce were absolutely delicious. The caviar looks good, but it does add a fishy taste to a dish that normally doesn’t taste like fish. On balance, however, both Jan and I thought the “black gold” (as I often call it — okay, that was a first) was a good addition.
Next steps? Well, there is ample Hollandaise sauce left over. And we think it’s crying out to be made into Eggs Benedict for our breakfast one of these springtime mornings. Like, maybe tomorrow or Wednesday.