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

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

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

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

Cresses in cocktails

In this article we’ll take a closer look to some cocktails with Koppert Cresses

Dushi buttons are tiny flower heads, their small size is largely compensated by their complex flavor profile. The combination possibilities are almost endless, make sure to check out the Foodpairing tree in the Explorer.

For the purpose of creating a new cocktail we selected rhubarb in the Foodpairing Explorer and made a syrup with it. We infused the basic rhubarb syrup with Dushi buttons, allowing the syrup to enrich itself with the complex flavor of the flower bud. The infused syrup was used to aromatise a sparkling wine, which also matches the Dushi buttons. The cocktail is garnished with some buttons, which will give extra kick to it while the syrup provides a nice aromatic baseline.

Here you can find the complete recipe.
The Dushi buttons contain a lot of flowery and rose-like aromas, making a combo with litchi possible.
Yet the buttons also have a green face, nicely matching the flavor profile of cucumber. Playing with the green flowery theme of this product, we have created a classic Tom Collins with a Dushi twist (see our Olympic games cocktails).

Hendrick’s Gin was used to get a nice Foodpairing match with the Dushi buttons since this gin is aromatized with cucumber. The buttons were used to flavor our homemade soda.

Put some flower buds in a Seltzer bottle, fill with water and load a soda capsule. Leave the pressurized bottle overnight so the buttons can release their flavor and the gas can dissolve properly in the water. Next a Classic Tom Collins was prepared with the Hendrick’s Gin, topped off with the flavored soda. Litchi can be used as a garnish, it really brings out the rose-like character of the Dushi button. Link to recipe.


The flavor profile of Shiso® Green also shows quite a lot of flowery aromas, but with citrus twists. The latter aromas can also be found in Cointreau.

Cointreau is used in many cocktails, but the White Lady (gin, Cointreau and lemon juice shaken with egg white) is a cocktail that stands out because of its powerful simplicity.

We blended a basic sugar syrup with Shiso® Green, next we sidetracked from the original White Lady recipe by adding egg white to the syrup, pressurizing it with nitrogen in a siphon. This gives a creamy foam with the aroma of Shiso® Green.

Next we applied this foam as a second layer to the shaken gin, cointreau and lemon juice. The physical separation of the two elements provides a strong taste contrast, which is quite fascinating indeed. Even so, it might be wise to dampen contrast a bit with a pinch of salt. Addition of salt in any cocktail will provide fullness, prolong all flavours and smooth out crude edges. Freeze dried soy sauce presents itself when looking at the Foodpairing tree of Shiso® Green, so we garnished our White Lady variation with it, it works surprisingly well! Link to recipe.

Beer and Foodpairing: Ommegang Charles Quint

In this article we’ll give you some flavor inspiration for designing recipes that combine well with this excellent beer. Also we’ll dive into a couple of home-grown recipes we designed to beer and Foodpairing the Ommegang Keizer Karel.

Three hops are used during the production process giving the beer its delicate yet complex aroma. Flowery, fruity, spicy and citrusy aromas are equally perceived, without overloading the beer. Its multi dimensional character is reflected in the Foodpairing tree of Ommegang Keizer Karel, it grants a lot of Foodpairing potential to this beer.

The subtle spiciness in the beer is mainly attributed to the chosen yeast strain tasked to ferment the beer. This flavor can also be found in asparagus and vanilla (find them in the Ommegang Foodpairing tree). These simple links gave us the spark to create two amiable food companions. With the aid of the Foodpairing Explorer we filled in the blanks. Add Ommegang and asparagus to your combo box. Then search for fitting ingredients and be inspired. Keep in mind that you can use the beer in your recipe, but it also can be served on the side.


Here’s what we came up with.

Asparagus – Cream Cheese – Shrimp

Starting from the Ommegang – asparagus combo in the Foodpairing Explorer, we hopped to cream cheese, having some lactone aromas in common with the beer and the asparagus. Next we selected bread, which will link in the fruity theme.

Find the recipe here.


Apple – lemon – vanilla – pistachio

This dish emphasizes the fruity and citrusy character of the beer that is served on the side. Sparked by the vanilla match, we searched for appropriate fruits. The beer contains a lot of aroma molecules that can be found in apples and lemons, so we decided to go with these two ingredients. That leaves us vanilla, apples and lemon; it is a small task to come up with a matching dessert with these ingredients so common, so go wild…

Find our recipe here.

Les vergers Boiron recipes

Les Vergers Boiron introduced 4 new products at Sirha the end of January. These products were analyzed and added to the Foodpairing® database. Here is an overview of their flavor and Foodpairing potential.

The Fruit and Vegetable products of Les Vergers Boiron are very well known in Europe. Here are the products we added to our database (click on them to view the Foodpairing tree)

The yellow pepper contains a lot of fruity, citrus, floral and green cucumber-like aromas, making strong matches with other vegetables like tomato, cucumber, aubergine etc. Surprisingly, the yellow pepper matches fruits even better, combinations of yellow pepper with pear, strawberry or orange will surely inspire. Caramellic themes are more hidden, allowing combinations of the yellow pepper with coffee, chocolate and fried meat. This is one of the directions we chose to design our yellow pepper recipe towards, another theme we decided to highlight is its fruitiness. We made the yellow pepper puree into a mayonnaise sauce and prepared the beef with hay, making this dish quite extraordinary flavourwise. Though you wouldn’t say when looking at the picture…

The bergamot puree is characterized by green, floral and citrus aromas, making strong matches to fish and seafood. This puree contains the subtle typical flavours of earl grey tea and is quite suitable for freshening up dishes in a more exotic way than lemon juice.
We designed a classic fish dish with a bergamot twist. The bergamot brightens the flavours of the other ingredients while making its typical flavour contribution, steering this dish into a more challenging zone.

Because of the addition of pineapple and lemon juice to the ginger puree and lemongrass both products become increasingly complex, besides having ample sweet and savory combinations these products fit perfectly into a cocktail. So here are some cocktail recipes (more food recipes can be found on the product pages of the ginger puree and lemongrass)

We selected pear and cinnamon for our ginger cocktail, each highlighting another flavour theme of ginger and by itself a very classic combination. The resulting cocktail is highly suited as an after dinner drink.

We decided to highlight the spicy flavours of the lemongrass puree, so we selected green tea and bergamot in its Foodpairing tree. Finishing the cocktail with matching Sichuan pepper makes this oriental cocktail complete. Make sure to check out the strong taste contrasts between foam and cocktail!

We are also proud to announce we will analyze more products of Les Vergers Boiron, so stay tuned.

For more information about Les Vergers Boiron products visit:

Foodpairing beef rub: oriental

Customize your rub to match perfectly. With our Foodpairing® Explorer it is as easy pie! Take a look at the Foodpairing tree of the meat you want to season, let’s say beef.

Now it is just the matter of browsing & selection matching ingredients.


In the category of sea products you can find dried kelp. Kelp gives a pleasant aroma of sea air to the meat. It is a common ingredient in many cultures, but mostly reminds us of oriental dishes, so we chose to go further in that direction. One can find inspiration for the rub by looking at the Foodpairing tree of beef, but also at the one of already selected flavoring ingredients. In our case we could look at the Foodpairing tree of kelp. Also don’t forget about the ingredients for your baseline, these can also be a starting point for your Foodpairing searches.


We’ve selected following extra ingredients for our oriental rub: Sichuan pepper, orange peel, chili, garlic, onion, black pepper, ginger, fennel seed, cinnamon and coriander.

  • 5 g salt
  • 3 g dried wakamé
  • 2,5 g sichuan pepper
  • 2 g dried orange peel
  • 1,5 g freeze dried onion flakes
  • 1 g coriander seeds
  • 0,5 g ginger powder
  • 0,5 g fennel seeds
  • 0,2 g black pepper powder
  • 0,2 g freeze dried granulated garlic
  • 0,1 g chili powder
  • 0,1 g cinnamon powder


Mix all ingredients. Store in an air tight container.

Put the rub in a small bowl. Press the rub into all sides of the meat and refrigerate for at least 30′ prior to grilling or frying.


Dessert with hay and other Foodpairing combinations

Based on the Foodpairing tree of hay, we find combinations with strawberry and cucumber. What about a (pre)dessert?


  • hay
  • 525 g milk
  • 150 g cream
  • 125 g sugar
  • 40 g milk powder
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • strawberry jam
  • tarragon

Bring the milk to the boil and add some hay. Cover and let infuse for 30′. Sieve, add the sugar and the milk powder. Bring to the boil. Cool, add the cream and turn into ice cream.

Cut the strawberries in pieces

Cut long slices of the cucumber (without the seeds). Cut thick slices of the ovary of the cucumber. Cut into circles

  Armstrong Blink-182 Coldplay

How to remix whiskey sour?

Foodpairing® is not exclusively for chefs. Foodpairing® lends itself perfectly for the creation of new cocktail recipes. Many award-winning cocktails have been designed with the aid of Foodpairing®.

Let’s take a look at the potential of Foodpairing® in cocktails, revisiting the classic Whiskey Sour.

As mentioned in the Asperges Maltaise Remix article, adding small twists to classic recipes can be as fun and challenging as designing completely new experiences. This article picks up on the notion of the twists.

When looking at the Foodpairing tree of any whiskey, one can find a whole bunch of matching ingredients. When focusing on herbs, spices or fruits (if you want even more challenging, go for vegetables, if you’re crazy, go for the meats. One can easily find inspiration for a twist on the basic theme of the whiskey sour.

Here are some nice simple examples:

Licorice Whiskey Sour by Tony Conigliaro

recipe: Tony Conigliaro Make a classic whiskey sour with egg white. Finsih the cocktail with some freshly grated liquorice.

Morroco mint Whiskey Sour


  • 30 ml Whiskey (The Famous Grouse)
  • 10 ml tea syrup
  • 10 ml lemon juice

Add each ingredient in a shaker. Shake with ice.

Strain in a glass


Tea syrup:
For the preparation of our tea syrup, we used a herbal tea from the Lipton Brand, called Morocco. It’s a tea flavoured with cinnamon and mint.

  • 100 ml water
  • 2 tea bags
  • sugar

Bring the water to the boil. Add the tea bags and steep for at least 20 minutes. Sieve. Add the same amount of sugar to the tea. Bring to a boil for complete dissolution.

Bacon Whiskey Sour


  • 30 ml bacon flavoured whiskey
  • 10 ml sugar syrup
  • 10 ml lemon juice

Add each ingredient in a shaker. Shake with ice.

Strain in a glass


Flavoured whiskey:

  • 30 g bacon
  • 100 ml whiskey (The Famous Grouse)

Fry the bacon with a dash of olive oil. Add  whiskey and let cool. Sieve off the bacon when the bacon flavour is strong enough in the whiskey (time depends on the bacon). Put the whiskey in the fridge to harden the fat. Sieve.

This bacon recipe might be more challenging; stretching the original theme of the whiskey sour. Yet these 3 recipes stay pretty close to the original one, adding extra ingredients as twists rather than substituting the original ingredients. True substitution is ofcourse also possible. Keeping our distance from “the best whiskey for a whiskey sour” discussion just for now, let’s turn our heads to alternatives for the lemon.

Lemon alternatives can readily be found in the Foodpairing® Explorer if you want to stay in the same flavour theme. Start a new search in the Foodpairing® Explorer. Search for lemon, add it to your combo box, then check out the best matches in the List view. Agreed, this is a bit of a cheat, forgetting about combining for a sec in our search for lemon alternatives. Nonetheless the obtained list will definitly spark your creativity… Nice ideas might be raspberry juice, sour pomegranate juice or passion fruit juice.

Here’s our favorite lemon replacement for the Whiskey Sour:

Sudashi Whiskey Sour


  • 30 ml whiskey (The Famous Grouse)
  • 10 ml sudachi
  • a dash of lemon juice
  • 10 ml sugar syrup

Add each ingredient in a shaker. Shake with ice. Strain in a glass

Sudachi is less sour than lemon juice. To balance the cocktail we added a dash of lemon juice.

When tasting Sudachi you will notice some peppery notes. Why not finish the cocktail with some fresh grounded white pepper. Let the Foodpairing trees of whiskey inspire you…

Coffee appetizers

Coffee is most often associated with the after-dinner, served alongside the dessert or even used in them. Such a fine and versatile product should not but limited to this narrow use moment. Let’s explore how you can surprise your guests by using coffee in your appetizers.

Changing the use moment of products or putting them out of their traditional context often evokes strong reactions, yet when done properly you can count on a grand applause. Foodpairing can help you in the process of finding the right balance.

Start by navigating to the Foodpairing of coffee in the Foodpairing Explorer.

It’s our objective to combine coffee in an appetizer, so we specifically searched for fresh and not too sweet ingredients, i.e. ingredients that are suitable for appetizing. We also took care to incorporate fun texture contrasts which are highly desirable in an appetizer as they stimulate the eater’s curiosity for what’s to come.

Fried bacon with deep fried onions and coffee


  • 2 slices bacon
  • 10 g fried onions
  • 1 g ground coffee
  • 4 teaspoons brined mustard seeds


Mustard seeds:
Mix 200 g mustard seed with 355 ml water, 355 ml rice vinegar, 100 g sugar and 12 g salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 ‘. If the seeds are not cooked, add some extra water and simmer a little longer. Allow to cool

Fry the bacon in some butter

Mix the onions with the grounded coffee

more recipes here

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


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.