The best thing about spring is of course that winter is over, the sun is (hopefully) here to stay and temperatures are rising.
My other favourite thing about spring is that it means white asparagus season is upon us.
While white asparagus is a little used veg in the UK, in the part of Germany I am from it is a pretty big deal and its season much celebrated. You basically eat it as much as possible from the second you can and then wait an entire year to do the same again.
All this back story is here to make you understand why I was SO over the moon when I spotted some white asparagus as I had a nose around Borough market last weekend.
I simply had to buy some, even if it's not the cheapest (about £22 for a kg in the UK) and excitedly searched the internet for ways to prepare it.
The most traditional way to eat white asparagus is with hollandaise sauce, sliced ham and boiled potatoes and I've done a version with smoked salmon instead of the ham many times.
I however was wanting a more creative twist this time and stumbled across a recipe which combined boiled white asparagus and potatoes with a pan fried salmon filet and THE MOST AMAZING orange, tarragon, white wine and cream, so amazing in fact it was one of the best sauces I have ever made or tried.
A big statement I know, but the combo of freshly squeezed orange juice and zest, fragrant chopped tarragon, zingy white wine and cream is an absolute dream and elevates the whole dish into something restaurant worthy.
Honestly this was spring, my childhood and so much more on a plate and would be the most culinary way to introduce yourself or someone else to the wonders of white asparagus, I promise you won't regret it.
- 2 salmon fillets
- 2 tbsp butter
- 800g white asparagus
- 3 oranges
- 300g double cream
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 30g Butter
- 20g flour
- Salt & pepper
- Bunch of fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
- 500g baby new potatoes
- Peel one orange and squeeze the juice out of the rest of the oranges.
- Measure out 250ml of orange juice and add into a saucepan alongside the white wine and orange peel.
- Cook down by about half, remove the orange skin and set aside.
- In the meantime peel the white asparagus and chop off stalky ends.
- Cook in boiling salted water for 10-12 mins.
- Cook your potatoes in boiling water at the same time.
- Drain when ready.
- Slowly sauté the finely chopped shallots in butter on a medium heat.
- After a minute or two sprinkle some flour over the shallots and mix well.
- Add the cream, then add the orange reduction, making sure to add the cold cream first to avoid clumps.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and add the finely chopped tarragon.
- Pan fry the salmon to your liking, then serve with the asparagus, potatoes and lots of the sauce!
- Garnish with some extra tarragon and enjoy!!!