In a warm sleepy village where two small cats sitting at the top of a flight of stone steps narrowed their eyes at us, we discovered a gem of a restaurant – small, quiet and good. It was May, there was lily of the valley on the table and we had our first asparagus of the season. And it was delightful with this sauce. But to my mind, French white-stemmed asparagus lacks the flavour of the green spears we grow here. Just occasionally you meet a Frenchman who admits it. And I notice that some growers in the south are starting to plant the green variety.
Trim the end of each stick of asparagus. In France you may need to scrape away the skin on the lower end of the stalks. If you grow your own and cut it young this should not be necessary.
Cook the asparagus in salted water, stalks down, with a hood of foil over the spears so that they cook in the steam. Home-grown asparagus takes 6–12 minutes depending on the size. Bought asparagus which has dried out
Whisk together the egg yolks with the vinegar and
Remove the bowl from the heat and gradually whisk in sufficient lemon juice to sharpen the flavour agreeably. Fold in the cream, check the seasoning and serve with the asparagus.
© 1987 Geraldene Holt. All rights reserved.