We made this back in June when local asparagus was available, but have been very lax getting posts up on the blog (must do better!). We really enjoyed the combination here and the addition of our own, home-grown mint, dill and chives really made the dish sing.
Warm Asparagus & New Potato Salad – serves 4
- 350g small Jersey potatoes, scrubbed or peeled if you prefer
- 2 large mint sprigs
- 25g unsalted butter
- 250g asparagus tips
- hearts of 2 round lettuces, leaves separated, washed and dried
- Maldon salt
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
- handful of chervil sprigs – we used dill
FOR THE BUTTER SAUCE:
- juice of 1 lemon
- pinch of caster sugar
- 75g cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- freshly ground white pepper
- 1 tbsp snipped chives
Simmer the potatoes in lightly salted water, with the mint, until tender. Drain over a bowl and reserve the cooking water. Return the potatoes to the pan with the butter, stir together and keep warm.
For the sauce, use a large shallow stainless steel or enamel saucepan and squeeze in the lemon juice. Add 6 tbsp of the potato cooking water and the sugar, then simmer until reduced by half. Slowly incorporate the butter, a chunk at a time, whisking over a very low heat until homogenous (you’re aiming for a light butter sauce). Season with white pepper and keep warm.
Peel the asparagus tips from just below the bud and slice in half lengthways. Add to a pan of boiling well-salted water and boil for about 1-2 minutes – you want them just tender but not raw, then drain.
Slice the warm potatoes and add them, along with the asparagus, to the butter sauce. Turn gently with the chives, until everything is nicely coated.
Arrange the lettuce on 4 plates and divide the asparagus and potatoes between them. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and grate over the egg. Generously scatter with the chervil or dill.
(Original recipe from The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson, Quadrille, 2009.)