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.