Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
This is an appealing and easy little starter. We had a similar starter somewhere in France, and it was great in its simplicity. Buy the smoked fish at a deli or shop: the best would be smoked trout fillets, but smoked angelfish or salmon would be fine. I use green asparagus because we're not very fond of the white ones. Recipe serves 4.
- 20 -24 asparagus spears, green (preferably sizeable ones)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sugar (a pinch, as we used to call it)
- 3 1⁄4 ounces butter (100g)
- 12 ounces smoked trout (or other smoked fish fillets, try to buy 4)
- ground nutmeg (to garnish) (optional)
- Arrange the smoked fish fillets on serving plates, cover with foil, and put in a warming oven to just warm through.
- Peel any tough skin off the ends of the asparagus, and cut off hard ends.
- Neatly cut off the tips, about 1 1/2 inches long.
- Boil a pot of water, just enough for the asparagus stalks to cook. Add the salt and the pinch of sugar.
- Cook the stalks until very tender (test for doneness). Keep the water on the stove.
- Transfer the asparagus to a blender or processor, using a slotted spoon, and puree until smooth.
- Scrape out puree with a spatula into a small saucepan, turn up the heat, and whisk in the butter piece by piece. Pull of heat but don't let it get cold.
- Cook the asparagus tips in the same water until they're crisp-tender - a few minutes only. Drain and keep.
- Take the warmed plates of smoked fish from the oven, spoon over the asparagus butter, and divide the asparagus tops between the 4 plates.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg, and serve.