Friday, 17 May 2019

Asparagus with Chervil Chive Butter

The asparagus is starting to flow! Our new asparagus bed is starting to produce, and I think we are on our third or fourth cutting now. The old bed is only just starting to show some signs of life in the highest spot, confirming that moving it is a very good decision.

Chervil is next to impossible to find, so I post this mostly to encourage people to grow some chervil. It is one of the licorice-flavoured herbs, along with fennel and tarragon, but with a sweetness and delicacy that both of those lack.

I have an old cook book that has a chart of cooking times for vegetables, and it starts with 20 minutes for asparagus. This honestly boggles my mind, as I once cooked some for 6 minutes by mistake, and it disintegrated - there is no other word for what happened. HOW do you cook asparagus for 20 minutes - I mean, okay; you cook it for 20 minutes. But how do you possibly serve up the results?

4 to 6 servings
20 minutes prep time

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon 10% cream

a pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh chervil

Be sure the butter is soft enough to work before you start. Put it in a small bowl with the cream, salt, and pepper.

Wash, dry, trim, and finely mince the herbs. Work them together until smoothly integrated. Pack them into a little bowl, cover, and refrigerate when wanted. Serve with steamed or boiled asparagus.

Steaming is generally considered a better way to cook asparagus, but I admit I generally boil mine. Trim the ends of any tough parts, and bring the water to a boil. Be sure they will all fit into the pan before you start - really long ones may need to be cut in half. Three to five minutes is entirely sufficient, and drain them well before serving.

Last year at this time I made Fiddlehead & Potato Salad.

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