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Asparagus - The Royal Vegetable

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Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce



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"Hollandaise sauce is indubitably asparagus's finest upholstery,
and you won't go wrong with a spoonful of it on broccoli, either."

~ Bert Greene

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A Bunch of Asparagus, 1880, Formerly in the Collection of Painter Max Liebermann
A Bunch of Asparagus, 1880,
Formerly in the Collection of Painter Max Liebermann
Giclee Print

Manet, Édouard
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La Belle Cuisine


Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into bits
4 1/2 pounds white asparagus
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon dry
white wine

Melt the butter over medium heat and allow it to begin to bubble, but not brown. Pour the melted butter into a measuring cup and let it stand until it
is lukewarm and the milky sediment has settled to the bottom of the cup.

Meanwhile, trim and peel the asparagus. In a large pot bring 3 quarts water, salt, sugar and 4 tablespoons lemon juice to a boil. Place the asparagus into the boiling water and cook it, covered, 15 to 18 minutes over medium heat.

In a small non-reactive saucepan whisk together the egg yolks, a good
pinch of salt, the mustard, wine and the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon
juice. Warm the mixture over medium heat, whisking. Clarify the melted
butter by pouring off only the clear liquid, discarding the milky solids. Add
the clarified butter to the egg yolk mixture, drop by drop at first, and then
by tablespoons, whisking constantly. Continue to cook the mixture until it thickens, but do not allow it to come to a boil. It may be necessary to
remove the pan from the heat from time to time. Place the saucepan into
a large bowl of ice water to prevent further heating and the possibility of
curdling. Adjust the seasoning for salt and lemon juice and serve it
immediately with the well-drained asparagus.

Note: In case the sauce should separate, beat in 1 or 2 tablespoons
ice water to smooth it out.

See also:  The Hollandaise Family

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