This week we bring you a recipe perfect for asparagus season, which is from the end of April until June. Created by Michael Caines MBE, chef/Patron of Lympstone Manor in Devon, and one of the UK’s most celebrated chefs, the dish makes for an ideal starter, or vegetarian main course if served without the eggs.
Ingredients – Serves 4
8 white asparagus tips
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Sugar
1 sprig of thyme
Water to cover
8 green asparagus
16 quail eggs
Salt and pepper
Chervil butter sauce
50ml Vegetable nage
Salt and pepper
Prepare the two types of asparagus, for the white asparagus, peel them to the same thickness and cut them all to the same length.
Place into a saucepan and then add the butter, salt, sugar, and sprig of thyme. Now cover with water and bring to the boil, simmer until cooked through. Remove from heat and leave to cool within the cooking stock.
The green asparagus should only be peeled if very thick, let’s assume these aren’t, so just pick off the leaves and cut to the same length, it’s important that they are however the same thickness, if not then cook in two separate batches. In boiling salted water, cook the green asparagus on a rolling boil, once cooked remove carefully and place into a bowl of iced water.
Quail eggs: taking a large non-stick pan rub around some butter and heat lightly, remove from the heat and using a small knife carefully crack the quails’ eggs into the pan keeping them separate. Cook lightly and then remove from the pan onto a tray that’s been oiled or buttered. Repeat until all are cooked and then take some cling film and oil well and place the oiled surface on top of the quail eggs and keep refrigerated until needed.
Chervil butter: take the vegetable nage and heat, don’t boil, then whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Chop the chervil finely and add to the sauce at the last minute.
Reheat the green asparagus in a little water, butter and salt, and pepper. Reheat the white asparagus in its cooking liquid. When these are hot, remove the cling film from the quail eggs and place into a preheated oven 180° C / Gas Mark 4 for 2 – 3 minutes. Whilst these are warming, drain the asparagus and dress alternatively tip to tail, two white and two green per portion.
Now remove the quails’ eggs and season with salt and pepper and place 3 each down through the middle of the asparagus tips.
Now add the chopped chervil to the sauce and bring to boil, remove and sauce over the eggs and asparagus tips. Garnish with chervil and serve!
Alternatively, for the ultimate gastronomic treat book a table at Lympstone Manor and dine with the Luxury Restaurant Club to enjoy a complimentary glass of Michael Caines Blanc de Blanc Champagne, see details. Download the Luxury Restaurant Guide FREE APP HERE and follow steps to join club.