Blanched Asparagus with Beurre Blanc, damn that sounds fancy!! Well, it is fancy but super easy and very impressive. Let’s break this recipe down… blanched means to scald in boiling water for a brief time and then place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Basically you are boiling the vegetable until it is crisp tender and then cooling it down so it does not over cook. Easy, right?
Ok on to Beurre Blanc..it is literally translated from French as “white butter”. It is butter sauce made with a reduction of white wine, lemon juice and shallots into which cold butter is whisked in to prevent separation. I know that sounds super fancy, but I promise it is not hard and once you learn how to make the sauce from heaven you will make it all the time. It goes with everything-steak, eggs, vegetables, old shoe…. It is to die for!
So we are basically making boiled asparagus with a butter sauce. Sounds much more manageable. There are a few tricks to pull this off-1) use a timer when blanching the asparagus (or any vegetable) so you do not over cook it. 2) Prepare an ice bath (a bowl of ice and water) before you start blanching-you want it ready. 3) Use cold butter when making the beurre blanc.
Let’s go! Enjoy and as always please comment or send me questions!
Blanched Asparagus with Beurre Blanc
Crisp, tender asparagus with a silky, tangy, buttery sauce makes a perfect side dish for a weeknight dinner or a holiday gathering.
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely minced shallots
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 8 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
- salt to taste
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Place wine, lemon juice and shallots in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Allow it to simmer and reduce by about 75%. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and add cream. Whisk to combine.
Reduce heat to the lowest setting (If you are using an electric stove turn the heat off). Add 2 cubes of butter to saucepan. Whisk until incorporated.
Continue adding cubes of butter, a few at a time, whisking constantly until all the butter is incorporated and the sauce has become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This whole process should take about 4-5 minutes.
Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately.
Bring a large straight sided skillet full of water to a boil. Add salt.
Add asparagus to boiling water. Boil for 4 minutes or until crisp tender. Add one more minute if you like your asparagus a bit more soft.
Using tongs remove asparagus from boiling water and place into prepared ice bath. Allow to sit in ice bath for 1 minute. Remove and dry with paper towels and place onto serving platter. Drizzle beurre blanc over and serve immediately.
- Be sure to keep the heat at the lowest setting when adding butter or the sauce will break (the butter separates from the sauce). If you feel the pan is hot enough you can take it off the heat and add the butter.