Asparagus is one of my favourite vegetables. It’s springtime on a plate: I could eat them every day throughout the season (April-May). It’s also the ultimate health/detox food: with its antioxidant and diuretic properties, it flushes out thebuild-up of alcohol toxins from the liver. All in all, it’s a powerful ally for slimming and general health that you can eat to your heart’s content.
There are a thousand delicious ways to serve asparagus: salad, risotto, quiche, with vinaigrette, a la plancha. But one of the easiest ways is to steam them and serve with a mousseline sauce.
But which mousseline sauce? There are two varieties: the traditional (and, some might say, authentic) one, which is loaded with butter and cream, or a lighter, mayonnaise-based version. At Le Castelet, we serve simple, wholesome food made with quality produce, which is why we opt for the mayonnaise-based mousseline sauce.
1 bunch of asparagus
1 tbsp mustard
20 cl oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
Salt and pepper
When buying asparagus – green or white – steer clear of any with withered or limp tips because they’ll be woody and stringy. Peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler. Trim about 2cm off the base of the spears: discard the very bottom centimetre, but keep aside the other part of the stalk: you can boil it up to make a delicious detox broth.
Wash the spears then steam them for 3 minutes in a pressure cooker or steamer. If you don’t have either, boil for 10-12 mins and drain.
In a bowl, mix the egg yolk, mustard, salt and pepper. Some people like to use a whisk, but I prefer a fork.
Gradually drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly.
When you’ve whisked in all the oil, add the lemon juice.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mayonnaise.
Place the asparagus on a plate with a generous spoonful of the mousseline sauce beside them. And that’s it!
Did you know?
Louis XIV was so fond of asparagus that he had the Royal gardeners grow them all-year-round in a special greenhouse.