The idea of being able to eat fresh milk curd from the cheese-making process is attractive. Here I have infused grated aged comte in Jersey milk, which has a higher fat content than regular milk, and lightly set it with rennet. It’s served immediately while still warm; the curd is delicate yet its flavour echoes the more matured comte. I always look forward to white asparagus in spring.
Roast the pine nuts, sunflower seeds, puffed quinoa and hazelnuts separately in the oven until they are golden brown.
Peel the white asparagus and discard the bottom
Meanwhile, reheat the comte-infused milk until it reaches 40°C (105°F). Check the seasoning and add a little sea salt if necessary. Have eight small Chinese rice bowls ready. Mix the mineral water and rennet together. Stir the milk with a spoon to create a whirlpool effect and add the rennet and water mixture while the milk is swirling. This will ensure an even distribution of rennet. Immediately ladle an equal amount of milk into each rice bowl and allow the curds to set in a warm place. This should only take a couple of minutes.
In a small saucepan, add the brown butter and pine nuts, sunflower seeds, quinoa and hazelnuts. Heat gently to warm the nuts and seeds.
Melt the butter and drain the asparagus. Brush the melted butter over the asparagus and season with sea salt.
Place five asparagus spears in the centre of each warmed serving plate. Using a small palette knife, release the curds from the edge of the rice bowls, making sure they are completely free. Tip the curd onto the asparagus, then spoon over an equal quantity of the warmed nut, seed and brown butter mixture on to the curds. Attractively arrange all the herbs and flowers on top, and serve immediately.
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