Asparagus with Mousseline Sauce

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 26 hr 30 min (includes infusing time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 1 serving
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Ingredients

1.4 ounces butter

6 leaves fresh lemon verbena, plus more for garnish

6 large asparagus

1 bergamot confit orange with the juices, plus more juice if needed

2 egg yolks

Salt

Freshly ground green Sichuan peppercorns

White or blue borage flowers

Directions

  1. For the butter: Cube the butter and combine with the lemon verbena leaves. Place the butter in the refrigerator for a day.
  2. Melt the butter, cover with a lid, and infuse the flavors for 2 hours over low heat. Leave overnight at room temperature.
  3. For the asparagus: Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Prepare an ice bath.
  4. Lay the asparagus on the board while you peel it, so you don't snap it. Peel asparagus until there's no more green skin, then snap off the end where it snaps easily. Tie the asparagus together with kitchen twine so they don't snap when blanching.
  5. Blanch the asparagus, upright in a small tin to keep them straight, for 4 minutes. Then place the asparagus in an ice bath to refresh and cool.
  6. For the mousseline: In a small saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of the confit orange juice and one-quarter of the confit orange, chopped, and 2 egg yolks, then place over low heat. Using a hand blender, blend the ingredients together. Reserve a slither of the orange confit for garnish. While blending, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the infused butter to make a nice, smooth sauce. Add a pinch each of salt and Sichuan pepper. Season the muslin with more confit orange juice and salt if needed.
  7. For serving, saute the asparagus in a teaspoon of the infused butter over high heat to brown the asparagus, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt.
  8. Plate the asparagus and spoon on the sauce. Garnish with the borage flowers (they're quite a sweet flower), some lemon verbena and the reserved slither of orange confit.

Cook’s Note

Lemon verbena, or vervain, is a bright, lemongrass-basil-lemon-scented herb in a grass-type leaf. If you can't find fresh lemon verbena you can substitute with dried.

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