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Recipe: White asparagus with speck in orange chervil cream sauce

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Recipe: White asparagus with speck in orange chervil cream sauce
Photo: Lora Wiley-Lennartz
16:55 CEST+02:00
If you live in Germany, you cannot ignore “White Gold” season. Germans mark Spargelzeit by making white asparagus the star of a special meal.

Unlike the green variety, white asparagus must be peeled before cooking. Peel and boil the white asparagus for this recipes. Then, pour a luscious, creamy, orange white wine sauce spiked with chervil over the cooked asparagus. Add speck or thick cut bacon pieces as well. Leave these out for a lighter, vegetarian version.

SEE ALSO: German word of the day: Spargelzeit

SEE ALSO: Recipe: Easy white and green Spargel tart

White Asparagus with Speck in Orange Chervil Cream Sauce

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes

Servings 4


1 kilo white asparagus

1 pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar

1 orange

115g speck or thick cut bacon cut into small cubes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 shallots

1 tablespoon orange marmalade

125 ml dry white wine

230g heavy cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chervil, plus more for garnish

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Photo: Lora Wiley-Lennartz


- Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the salt and the sugar.

- While the water is boiling, peel the white asparagus and cut off the woody bottom ends.

- Place the peeled asparagus in the boiling water and cook for 20 minutes.

- Drain the asparagus, reserving 125 ml cup of the asparagus water.

- Place the cooked asparagus on a warm plate, cover with aluminum foil and stow in a warm place. Set aside.

- Wash the orange and pat dry.

- If you like, for garnish, peel some thin strips of the orange and set them aside. Zest the orange. Cut the orange in half and juice both halves.

- Peel the shallots and cut into small pieces.

- Place a layer of paper towels next to the stove.

- In a medium-sized skillet heat the thick cut bacon pieces and cook until crispy.

-Transfer the speck or bacon pieces from the pan to the prepared layer of paper towels and blot away the excess grease. Set aside.

- Add the tablespoon of unsalted butter to the pan. when the butter has melted, add the shallots and cook until the shallots are caramelized.

- Add the orange zest to the pan and stir to combine.

- Add the 1/2 cup of the reserved asparagus water to the pan. Add the orange juice to the pan and stir to combine.

- Stir in the tablespoon of orange marmalade. Simmer for 5 minutes.

- Add the white wine and deglaze the pan.

- Add the heavy cream to the pan and stir everything together.

- Add the chervil to the sauce and mix it in thoroughly. Mix in the pre-cooked thick cut bacon.

- Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

- Cook a few more minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened or it coats the back of a wooden spoon.

- Retrieve the cooked white asparagus from its warm place. Arrange on a serving plate and pour the hot orange chervil cream sauce over the top, garnish with orange peels and chopped fresh chervil and serve.

Lora Wiley-Lennartz is an Emmy nominated television producer and a food/destination blogger who splits her time between Germany and New York City. Read her blog Diary of a Mad Hausfrau or follow her on Facebook for traditional German recipes with a twist.

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