Asperge Violette: Violet Asparagus With Hollandaise Sauce

Recipe by French Tart
READY IN: 15mins




  • Asparagus: Trim the woody ends off the asparagus spears. One of the best ways to cook asparagus is to steam it upright in a small amount of water; this way, the delicate tips of the stalks will cook at the same rate as the thick bottoms. Use a tall, lidded pot, or a double boiler (invert the upper portion over the lower). There are also special asparagus cookers designed for this purpose. Or, you can lay the stalks flat in a collapsible vegetable steamer placed in a large skillet.
  • To handle the asparagus easily, tie the spears into bundles of 10 with kitchen string. Add 2" of water to the pot, bring to a rapid boil, then cover. (You can add a clove of garlic, a slice of onion, or a lemon wedge to the water.) Cooking time: five to eight minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears.
  • Hollandaise sauce: Melt the butter slowly in a medium-sized saucepan. Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and leave to one side.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
  • Whilst continuing to whisk, add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to the beaten egg yolks.
  • Next, very slowly to begin with, whisk in the melted butter and the 2 tbsp of water. Continue to whisk constantly.
  • Return the mixture to the saucepan, heat over a very low heat, still whisking all the time until the sauce thickens.
  • Serve immediately or keep warm for up to 30 minutes before serving.
  • Arrange the asparagus spears on a plate - add a knob of butter to them, and serve the little Hollandaise sauce in individual bowls for dipping. You can add fresh violets and a lemon wedge if you wish. Serve with crusty bread and chilled white wine. These amounts serve 4 people as a starter and 2 to 3 people as a main meal.