Asparagus Ragout with Cherry Tomatoes and Chervil Beurre Blanc
This recipe makes good use of spring’s fresh white asparagus. Hans Rockenwagner, a German chef based in Los Angeles, shared the recipe with us as part of Lori Zimring De Mori’s feature, “White Asparagus” (April 2000). utter into pieces, then whisk into pan, a few pieces at a time, until smooth. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste, Tabasco, and remaining lemon juice. Cover and keep warm for up to 15 minutes.
- 2 lb. fresh white asparagus
- 5 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 15 tbsp. butter
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Dash of Tabasco
- 3-4 tbsp. fresh chervil leaves
- 16-20 small red cherry tomatoes
- Bring 16 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Add 2 generous pinches of salt, 4 tbsp. of the lemon juice, and 3 tbsp. of the butter. Meanwhile, trim about 1⁄2” from the ends of the asparagus. Lay spears on a work surface, then peel thin skin from each with a sharp swivel-blade vegetable peeler, starting 1 1⁄2” from the top and running the length of the spear. (Spears are brittle and can snap when peeled in midair.) Gather spears into 4 bundles, tie loosely with kitchen string, and lower into simmering water. Cook, increasing heat to medium-high if necessary to maintain a simmer, until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 8–30 minutes, depending on thickness. Lift bundles from simmering water and drain on paper towels.
- Boil wine and shallots in a medium heavy pan over medium-high heat until reduced by three-quarters, 10–15 minutes. Add cream and reduce again by half, 5–7 minutes; reduce heat to low. Cut remaining 12 tbsp. butter into pieces, then whisk into pan, a few pieces at a time, until smooth. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste, Tabasco, and remaining lemon juice. Cover and keep warm for up to 15 minutes.
- Chop half the chervil and set aside. Untie string from asparagus, then cut spears into 1 1⁄2” lengths and add to warm beurre blanc. Cook for 1 minute, stirring gently until well coated. Add tomatoes and chopped chervil and stir gently, then spoon into a warm serving dish. Garnish with remaining chervil. Serve warm.