Roast Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce

Roast Asparagus┬áRoast Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce is such a winning combination and a real treat when served to people. So this recipe is definitely worth having for when you want to impress without too much effort. The roast asparagus on their own are divine and ridiculously easy too so if you do not want to take on the hollandaise for health reasons, that’s absolutely fine. But if you do not want to take on the hollandaise because you are daunted by the yolk/fat emulsion – don’t be a baby! It’s not hard, just make sure you have plenty time and use it all. You cannot take too much time when whisking it up. I’ve quoted Nigella Lawson on this site before when she said that being nervous while cooking has a way of permiating it’s way into the food and ruining everything. This is especially true for yolk/fat emulsions. If you try hard to be chilled the first time you do one you’ll see that it’s really no big deal and every time after that you’ll wonder what the fuss was to begin with. Saying that, the first time I made this hollandaise, I had to enlist a friend to hold the bowl over the pan of simmering water while I whisked. Thinking now about the fear and nerves we both had at the time seems so ludicrous to me, but if that’s what I felt I needed to attempt it for the first time, so what?

If you are opting for the healthier roast asparagus without the hollandaise, I would suggest you also add a clove or two of finely grated or minced garlic and rub it into the stems when they are on the tray before roasting. This is how I usually serve it at dinner parties and there have been so many times when, after a load of wine, party guests have gone in search of leftover asparagus instead of crisps or anything else.

Roast Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce

Ingredients

    For the Asparagus:
  • 500 g Asparagus
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch of sea salt flakes
  • For the Hollandaise:
  • 125 g butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 0.5 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 2 tsp ice-cold water
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

    For the Hollandaise:
  1. Melt the butter and skim off and milk solids that float to the top.
  2. Whisk together the yolks, vinegar, water and salt until combined.
  3. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water and whisk the yolks until pale and thick. This should take about 4 minutes over a medium heat.
  4. Remove the yolks from the heat and whisk in the melted butter slowly.
  5. Whisk in the lemon juice and cayenne pepper and taste and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Decant into a bowl or jug and set aside.
  7. For the Asparagus:
  8. Chop the bottom inch off each stem.
  9. Peel the remaining bottom inch with a vegetable peeler.
  10. Place them in a single layer on a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  11. Roast at 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.
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