Make Ahead

White Asparagus with Vanilla Beurre Blanc

April  9, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Years ago, at an otherwise unmemorable restaurant in Paris, my parents and I ate a dish of white asparagus in a vanilla sauce. The delicacy of the white asparagus was perfectly complemented by the vanilla, and the whole plate was something that lingered in our memories. My mother has been trying to recreate that dish for the past ten years, and this is her version. White asparagus is more delicately flavored but tends to be woodier than green asparagus. It also takes longer to cook. —Savour

What You'll Need
  • Asparagus
  • 1 pound thick white asparagus
  • Vanilla Beurre Blanc
  • 1/2 whole vanilla bean, split
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 8 ounces cold butter
  • 1 tablespoon creme fraiche
  • salt to taste
  1. Asparagus
  2. Break the ends of the asparagus stalks off at the natural breaking point.
  3. Peel the asparagus from the ends to the bottom of the tips.
  4. Steam the asparagus for 10-20 minutes until tender.
  1. Vanilla Beurre Blanc
  2. Combine shallots, vinegar and wine in a small saucepan.
  3. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds, and add the seeds and the pod to the wine and shallot mixture.
  4. Reduce the mixture over medium high heat until it's about 1/4 cup in volume, and is a syrupy glaze.
  5. Remove the vanilla bean pod, add the cold butter in lumps, and whisk vigorously until the butter is incorporated. Add creme fraiche and taste for salt.
  6. Serve warm sauce over asparagus.
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I'm a Los Angeles based home cook with a full time job and 2 young kids, so my recipes tend to be accessible to busy people. I firmly believe that anyone can cook good, everyday meals from scratch with sufficient tools and encouragement, and I try to create meals that are delicious, wholesome and not too intimidating. Most of my favorite recipes tend to be twists on a classic dish that makes it new and exciting.

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