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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
pound thick white asparagus
- Break the ends of the asparagus stalks off at the natural breaking point.
- Peel the asparagus from the ends to the bottom of the tips.
- Steam the asparagus for 10-20 minutes until tender.
Vanilla Beurre Blanc
whole vanilla bean, split
cup dry white wine
cup champagne vinegar
tablespoon minced shallots
ounces cold butter
tablespoon creme fraiche
salt to taste
- Combine shallots, vinegar and wine in a small saucepan.
- Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds, and add the seeds and the pod to the wine and shallot mixture.
- Reduce the mixture over medium high heat until it's about 1/4 cup in volume, and is a syrupy glaze.
- 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.
- Serve warm sauce over asparagus.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Asparagus Recipe