1 day ago
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Albino Asparagus Season
Asparagus season is eagerly awaited in the entire nation. Every decent restaurant has some sort of asparagus dish on the menu for a 4-6 week period of the year. Music pumped into supermarket stereos announce "wünderschöne Spargelzeit" and advertise the hollandaise sauce you can buy to put on your asparagus. I don't believe in store-bought hollandaise, and I can't make any at home with a good conscience - the stuff has lots of butter. I need another solution to the asparagus time-bomb ticking in bottom of my fridge.
I just read an entry from Mark Bittman on how he tried Cuisine de Marché in Paris. I was appalled at how he tried to throw white asparagus into a chicken roast. Then he didn't understand why people pay up to 20€/ Kilo for it. No one does "Spargel" (white asparagus) better than the Germans, even without the hollandaise. There's the soups, the salads, just steamed & dipped in butter (think "landlocked lobster"). After living here for so long, I knew I could do better, I just wasn't too sure how.
I opted for a marinade of melted ghee (clarified butter), olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and some bruschetta herbs I have in the cupboard (oregano, parsley, garlic, red pepper, salt, pepper). I peeled the asparagus, let it steam, cooled it immediately in ice water, and poured the marinade on. It wasn't the asparagus that people wait 10 months for (that is the kind that is covered in hollandaise) but at least I didn't finish my meal asking myself why people pay good money for that.