Category Archives: asparagus

Asparagus desserts

Foodpairing® not only gives you an overview of possible conventional combinations, when browsing through the trees in the Explorer you might find combinations that are new or maybe unheard of in gastronomy. Do not disregard these pairings as mere curiosa. For they often are the spark of innovative and challenging recipes. It might be worth the after-hours experiment, afterall, all pairings in our Explorer are in accordance to the main principal of Foodpairing:

 

“Foods can be combined when they share major flavor components”

 

So no matter how peculiar the pairing might seem, they share major flavor components. But always keep in mind that Foodpairing is just a starting point in new recipe generation, knowledge of the art of gastronomy is needed to design a well-balanced yet challenging recipe. It is like a diamant: the skill of the master is needed to allow it to shine.

 

That being said, let’s make an asparagus dessert!

When investigating the Foodpairing tree of Asparagus, one finds that asparagus pairs well with fruits such as Litchi and Raspberry. When browsing the pastry category, one finds a large host of cocao pairings.

The pairing of asparagus – dark chocolate – raspberry will be core of our recipe.

In order to find more interesting pairings, one might browse the Foodpairing tree of Raspberry. Nice matches can be found with rhubarb, lemon balm and pepper mint. These ingredients will bring freshness to the dish; each in their own way.

Furthermore, the addition of the raspberry to the recipe allows the combination of asparagus with rhubarb, lemon and lemon balm. No direct pairings can be observed between these ingredients and asparagus. The raspberry forms a “flavour bridge” between the asparagus and the mentioned ingredients.

The recipe

  • 4 asparagus AA
  • lemon juice
  • sugar syrup
  • soft, fruity olive oil
  • 3 raspberries
  • 1 stalk rhubarb
  • 2 dl sugar syrup 50%
  • 40 g melted dark chocolate
  • 20 g kaolin
  • 16 raspberries
  • dark chocolate
  • lemon verbena

Asparagus:
Peel the asparagus. Slice it with a peeler in very thin ribbonns. Add some lemon juice, sugar syrup and olive oil.

Rhubarb:
Peel the rhubarb and cut the stalk into pieces. Add the sugar syrup and 3 raspberries. Bring to a boil. Cover with some tinfoil and put in a preheated oven (90°C). Cook al dente and allow to cool in the syrup.

Mix the molten chocolate with the kaolin

Assembly:
Arrange the asparagus on the plate. Putin the pieces of rhubarb, raspberries and bit of chocolate. Finish with some lemon verbena.

How to remix the classic Asperge Maltaise

This is the recipe we’ve created to illustrate the listview approach in the Foodpairing® Explorer. It is a “remix” of the classic Asperge Maltaise.

 

Asparagus is a vegetable that offers a lot of possible pairings. Foodpairing® opens your mind and stimulates your creativity, but it is always wise to control your enthusiasm when tapping into it’s power. Take a step back and always remember your gastronomic heritage, establishments and knowledge. In our experience quite a lot of dishes draw their strength from their simplicity. Complicated combinations with a lot of flavors tend to get difficult to grasp, losing their elegance and beauty.
Breaking traditional boundaries with challenging dishes is great fun and should be encouraged, but always make sure not to over-do it. Adding small twists to established dishes or themes can have more disarming effect than the next crazy concoction.

 

With this philosophy in mind, we decided to design a recipe with the classic Asperge Maltaise as a starting point. In case you forgot (shame on you!), that’s asparagus in a Mousseline sauce of orange juice.

 

As can be observed in the Foodpairing tree of Asparagus, Asperges Maltaise makes complete sense in terms of the Foodpairing® theory, all ingredients share aroma compounds with asparagus and thus can be found in the Foodpairing tree of Asparagus.
This again illustrates the power of Foodpairing. Not only can Foodpairing® be utilised to create innovative  recipes, but it also explains the success of some classic hits. Other examples are hidden everywhere in the Foodpairing Explorer, find them all…

We overhauled the classic recipe and searched for that surprising yet contributing twist on the classic theme, but still keeping the essence of it.

Asparagus contains some floral notes that can also be found in coffee and smoked salmon. So we decide to add these ingredients. The orange was made into a gel to preserve its freshness, providing a nice contrast with the fattiness of the smoked salmon.

The Recipe

 

  • 8 white asparagus AA
  • 4 slices of cold smoked salmon
  • 200 g orange juice
  • 1,5 g agar
  • ground coffee
  • lamb lettuce
  • some herbs
  • butter
  • pepper and salt

 

Asparagus:
Peel the asparagus and make diagonal slices. Braise in some butter, then add some water, season with salt and pepper. Braise until al dente.

Gel of orange:
Mix the orange juice with the agar (if the juice is to sour, add some sugar. Bring this mixture to a boil. Pour in a recipient and allow to gel. Blend the gel and transfer into a piping bag.

Place the asparagus on a plate. Put in the slice of smoked salmon. Pipe some gel in between. Sprinkle some ground coffee on the asparagus and finish with some leafs of lettuce and other herbs of your choice.

 

Go easy on the coffee, you don’t want to overpower your dish with its strong flavor.

 

Foodpairing white asparagus recipes

It’s spring! Yet you wouldn’t say from the weather we’re getting. Nevertheless, the asparagus are showing their heads. It’s that special time of the year again we can enjoy these royal vegetables. Let’s make some Foodpairing white asparagus recipes, but before take a closer look at their flavour profile and Foodpairing potential.

The white asparagus is very popular in Western Europe, it is less bitter and much more tender than their green brothers. Here is its Foodpairing tree.

One of the most famous classic asparagus combinations is Asparages à la Flamande, boiled asparagus with a butter sauce thickened with soft-boiled eggs. All ingredients contain high levels of buttery and vanilla notes, explaining the strong Foodpairing matches in this dish. Interestingly, this type or aroma is amplified when the asparagus are boiled. Raw asparagus are more complex and crisp, which make them suitable for appetizers, yet they can even find their way into desserts.

Here is a recipe we designed that is purposely focused on the vanilla-like flavours of asparagus, all accompanying ingredients match in this vanilla theme and highlight it accordingly.

Smoke the cooked asparagus shortly. Serve with a tarragon/cream cheese sauce as dip. This sauce is special as it doesn’t contain any egg yolk to stabilize the emulsion, but egg white and a pinch of xanthan gum.

Recipe tarragon/ cream cheese dipping sauce

35 g cooked spinach (water squeezed out)

20 g cream cheese

20 g egg white

pinch of xanthan gum

50 g olive oil

5 g tarragon

Mix the spinach with the cheese and egg white. Add a pinch of xanthan gum and mix. Add slowly the olive oil while mixing. When a mayonnaise texture is obtained, add the tarragon leaves and mix.

This snack may be served with a spicy tripel type beer such as Kasteelbier Tripel, this beer also exhibits a subtle vanilla flavor.

Less obvious flavor themes in asparagus are nutty/popcorn-like and piney. The nutty aroma allows for combinations with bacon, bread, coffee, chocolate, peanut, pumpkin seeds and macademia nuts. The example below denotes this nutty theme perfectly.

Prepare your favorite asparagus soup according to art and best practices, garnish with lightly cooked mussels and finish with freshly ground coffee.

The Asperge Maltaise is another well known classic with interesting Foodpairing links (asparagus with hollandaise sauce finished with the juice of blood orange). Buttery components link the asparagus to the hollandaise sauce, a piney aroma makes the match with the blood orange.

An fun approach to Foodpairing would be to remix the classic Asperge Maltaise. The juice of blood orange may be replaced by another piney-themed fruit (aka citrus type fruits as they contain a lot of piney aromas). Inspire yourself with the array of likely candidates that can be found in the Foodpairing tree of asparagus. Yuzu, sudachi, grapefruit, mandarin, kumquat are just a few of the possible matches.

Following recipe was generated utilizing the same simple remixing approach;

Cook the asparagus al dente; if available, add some young pine shoots to the cooking liquid for extra pine-theme enforcement. Place the asparagus in a deep plate. Season the cooking liquid and pour it over the asparagus. Spoon a few drops chorizo oil over this and finish with Tahoon ® Cress and toasted pine nuts.

Sakura Foodpairing dessert with asparagus

Last month a crew of the Japanese television NHK visited our office in Bruges and one of the research lab we cooperate with. Yesterday it was broadcasted.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TaiwHwE3KQ[/youtube]
Our chef Peter made a dessert based on the Foodpairing of a typical Japanese ingredient; Sakura (pickled cherry blossoms)

Sakura was turned into an ice-cream. Asparagus is used raw in thin slices. Raw asparagus has some sweet and spicy notes, which makes it applicable in a dessert. The floral notes from the sakura match fruits like raspberry. The almond aroma in the sakura combines with chocolate. Resulting in following dessert; Sakura icecream, raw asparagus, raspberry, chocolate spongecake.

 

TRAM EXPERIENCE AT BRUSSELICIOUS

As its name suggests, ‘Tram Experience’; aims to offer a gastronomic and touristic experience. In a tramway of the 60′s, which has been totally refurbished, guests enjoy several classic dishes of Belgian gastronomy, all modified for the occasion by tor 6 op chefs such as Lionel rigolet or Sang-Hoon Degeimbre.

There are 34 place settings on board: 7 tables set for 2 and 5 table set for 4. The decor reminds Electrolux’s Scandinavian origins with the white furniture, contemporary and refine design, wood floor and blue neon lights.

Combinations like this asparagus – camomile – crab – beurre noisette icecream can be experienced while moving through the streets of Brussels. (of course a Foodpairing combination)

more info and reservation