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.
White Asparagus with Speck in Orange Chervil Cream Sauce
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes
1 kilo white asparagus
1 pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar
115g speck or thick cut bacon cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
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.
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– 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.