fancy asparagus

Asparagus officinalis has been cultivated and coveted by gastro-ristocrats since the days of Ancient Greece. Throughout history it has been prized as a difficult to grow, luxury vegetable. If you feel like flashing a little culinary bling you can razzle dazzle some guests with grilled asparagus doused in fancy-pants orange-enhanced Béarnaise. The grass doesn’t get any greener.

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INGREDIENTS

15-20 small to medium asparagus spears

orange bernaise

3 egg yolks

2 Tbsp fresh squeezed navel orange juiced

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 pound cold butter

pinch of salt

1 sprig of tarragon, leaves only, finely chopped

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PROCEDURE

Fire up barbecue and get it screaming hot.

Boil some new potatoes while you get going with everything else.

To make the Béarnaise: Put the yolks, orange juice, vinegar and butter into a cold medium-sized pot. Get out your whisk and put the pot over medium-low heat.

Stir dilligently—you don’t have to stir hard, you don’t have to stir quickly, you just have to stir constantly. Don’t think you can walk away for a second.

You’ll notice the sauce starting to get smooth and creamy, but still quite thin and runny. Just be patient and keep stirring. It will start to thicken up.

When it is nearly the rich, velvety consistency of hollandaise, remove it (and keep it away) from the heat source. Stir in the tarragon.

Ideally you want to use it immediately, but if that’s not possible just make sure it doesn’t sit around for more than half an hour.

If it becomes too thick as it sits, whisk in a couple drops of warm water to loosen it up.

Head over to the barbecue with your steak and asparagus. Drizzle the asparagus with oil and sprinkle with salt to season before you pop it on the grill.  

Roll the asparagus when it starts to get charred.

Serve up the grilled asparagus smothered with loads of orange Béarnaise sauce.