Here in Germany, white asparagus has a short season that starts in April and ends in June, depending on the weather. But then asparagus is offered and served everywhere.
There are many excellent preparations that we will present one after the other. We start today with a recipe from South Tyrol that perfectly supports the fine taste of asparagus. To do this, we first make a Bozner Sauce, whose name is derived from the capital of South Tyrol, Bozen (Bolzano).
For this sauce, you need eggs that are cooked medium-hard. To do this, prick them carefully with a needle at the thick end so that air can escape and the shells do not crack and boil the eggs for 7 minutes (if they come from the refrigerator: 8 minutes) in slightly bubbling water. Then put them immediately into water that is as cold as possible to stop the cooking process. They are then also easier to peel.
When the eggs have cooled down a bit, peel them carefully (again, it is best to start at the thicker end, where the egg white has usually already separated from the shell because of an air bubble) and cut them in half.
Now you can easily separate the yolks from the whites with a small spoon. In our case, the yolk was perfectly creamy straight away. If it already seems too firm and crumbly, you can pass it through a fine sieve.
Then add a little mustard to the egg yolk and whisk to combine. Very slowly, in a thin stream, add the olive oil, stirring constantly. In a few minutes, a strong mayonnaise is formed all by itself.
Yoghurt is now added to this mayonnaise, which makes the sauce lighter and milder in taste. Continue whisking until you have a homogeneous, thick sauce, which is seasoned with salt, black pepper, lemon juice and white wine vinegar.
Finally, add the finely chopped egg white and finely chopped herbs – chives, parsley and / or chervil.
For the asparagus, you need a knife and peeler with as sharp a blade as possible.
Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus stalks. We do this generously so that only the best parts end up on the plate later. Nothing is wasted, because later we will prepare an asparagus cream soup from the cuttings and peelings.
To peel the asparagus without breaking the stalks, hold it as shown in the next picture and peel off the skin from underneath the asparagus head towards the end. You should always remove more from the lower half of the stalk, as the skin is thicker here and the outside is often fibrous.
We do not boil our asparagus in water, but steam it in its own aromas, which ensures optimal texture, does not allow the tender asparagus heads to fall apart and intensifies the full flavour of this delicious vegetable.
To do this, we place a portion of each of the peeled asparagus stalks on the matted side of a sheet of aluminium foil, dust delicately with a pinch of sugar, salt, black pepper and nutmeg and add 40 g of cold butter in small pieces per portion.
A second sheet of aluminium foil is placed on top (always the matted side facing the food) and then folded twice, first on the long sides and then on the ends, to form a well-sealed parcel.
In an oven preheated to 200 degrees, these parcels now bake on the oven rack, where they soon puff up, as the asparagus now cooks in its own steam.
The time needed can be quite varying, because every asparagus is different. Thinner stalks need at least 30 minutes, thicker stalks at least 40. Accordingly, we set an alarm clock, then take a parcel out of the oven and open it carefully so that it can also be closed again. With a knife, we pierce the thick ends of the asparagus stalks to check whether they have become soft. If necessary, we put the package back into the oven.
When the asparagus is cooked through at the ends, you will find perfectly steamed stalks in the foil – soft, but still with a bite and with perfectly preserved, tender heads.
We arrange our asparagus stalks and pour Bozner sauce over them, as well as the melted butter and the asparagus stock from the parcels. As in South Tyrol, we serve with boiled potatoes and some ham.
And may the taste be with you.
Ingredients ( for 2 people):
1 kg white asparagus
Sugar, salt, pepper and nutmeg
80 g butter
For the Bozner Sauce:
1 tsp medium hot mustard
60 ml olive oil
150 g yoghurt
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Chives, parsley and/or chervil
Typical side dishes: