Pile of White Asparagus, Clos Des Iles, Le Brusc, Cote d'Azur, Var, France
Pile of White Asparagus, Clos des Iles, Le Brusc, Cote d'Azur, Var, France
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Asparagus - The Royal Vegetable

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Asparagus with Tarragon Sauce




“The Germans are crazy about asparagus, which shows their good sense.”
~ Jane Grigson, Book of European Cookery

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Asparagus with Tarragon Sauce

 1 quart vegetable stock
1 1/2 pounds white asparagus
1/2 pound baby carrots
1/2 pound Savoy cabbage
1 bunch green onions
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
3 egg yolks

 Place the vegetable stock in a large saucepan and reduce it, uncovered, to approximately 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the asparagus and the carrots and cut them diagonally into 1-inch-long pieces Quarter the Savoy cabbage lengthwise and cut it crosswise into pieces about 1 1/2 inches long. Peel and slice the green onions and sauté about half of them in 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in 1 tablespoon tarragon. Add the carrots and sauté 2 minutes, then add the asparagus, season mixture with salt, pepper and sugar, cover the pan and let the vegetables simmer in their own juice over low heat about 5 minutes. Stir in the Savoy cabbage and simmer an additional 5 minutes, covered.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan sauté the remaining onions and 1 tablespoon tarragon in 1 tablespoon butter, add the vinegar, bring to a boil and cook until almost no liquid remains. Add the reduced stock, bring to a boil, and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter cut into pieces. Remove pan from heat. Whisk the egg yolk with a small amount of sauce and whisk the mixture back into the sauce remaining in the saucepan. Carefully warm the sauce until it thickens and pour it through a fine sieve over the cooked vegetables. When serving, garnish with remaining tarragon. 4 servings.

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