Asparagus is probably my favourite vegetable, at least during the time it is in season. The rest of the year it is probably in second place behind the aubergine.
One reason I think I love asparagus so much is its compatibility with buttery sauces. If it didn’t work so well with hollandaise it probably wouldn’t be my favourite.
Last time I had asparagus and hollandaise I flavoured the sauce with chives and added some crispy pancetta to the plate. It was really delicious and a dish I will cook again and again. I had it as a starter but I would happily eat it for brunch too with an added poached egg.
Asparagus with chives hollandaise and pancetta, serves 2
6-8 asparagus stems
6 thin slices pancetta
1 batch chives hollandaise (receipe below)
Break off the wooden part of the asparagus stems and cook in simmering water for 2-3 minutes. Drain. Fry the pancetta until crisp in a frying pan or in the oven. Make the sauce. Plate up and serve.
Chives hollandaise, serves 2-4
150 g salted butter
1/2 – 1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and white pepper
1 bunch chives, chopped
Mix egg yolks and lemon juice in a non stick sauce pan (start off with only half a tbsp lemon juice if you don’t want the sauce too sharp, you can add more towards the end). Cut the butter into cubes and put one or two into the egg yolks, while whisking. Let all the butter melt before adding more butter cubes and repeat this until all the butter is used. The sauce will slowly thicken and when it is thick enough, remove it from heat, still stirring, season and add the chopped chives. Serve.