In France, we could almost change our national day to White Asparagus Day. Well, almost, but not quite! But when white asparagus comes into season, you will find it on all the tables at home, in restaurants, bistros, brasseries and auberges—it will be on every menu for that short season. I love it. It’s just superb. Here, I am serving it with white grapefruit and a boiled egg and grapefruit dressing that complements the white asparagus perfectly. If you like, you can also serve it with crusty bread and my Belgian Endive and Radish Salad alongside.
– PREPARATION TIME 25 minutes, plus making the mayonnaise.
– COOKING TIME 20 minutes.
– 1 egg.
– 2¼ pounds white asparagus, peeled and woody ends discarded.
– 1 white grapefruit.
– 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.
– 4 teaspoons Mayonnaise.
– 6 tablespoons sunflower oil.
– 1 teaspoon chopped chervil leaves.
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Step 2: Divide the asparagus into 4 equal bunches and tie each bunch with kitchen string to secure. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the bunched asparagus and simmer 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of your asparagus, until it is tender but with just a little resistance when pierced with the tip of a knife.
Step 3: Grate the zest from the grapefruit, reserve a pinch and put the rest in a small bowl. Peel the grapefruit, then take out 4 segments and cut each segment in half and leave to one side. Juice the rest of the grapefruit, pressing it through a fine strainer into the bowl with the zest. Add the mustard and mayonnaise and whisk together until well blended, then whisk in the sunflower oil in a steady stream. Stir in the chopped egg and chervil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 4: Remove the asparagus from the pan and drain quickly on paper towels or a clean dish towel. Remove the string and put the asparagus onto serving plates. Spoon the dressing over the top and finish with the reserved grapefruit segments and a sprinkling of the reserved zest.