Asparagus with Verjuice Hollandaise
Step 1: In a non reactive saucepan combine the Verjuice, bay leaf and peppercorns. Place over a high heat and reduce to two tablespoons of syrup.
Step 2: Place the unsalted butter into a small pot and place over a high heat and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until nut brown, then remove from heat. The butter will turn nut brown at approximately 150C. Immediately remove from the heat, pour into a heat proof jug and leave for 5 – 6 minutes to cool a little.
Step 3: Trim the woody stems of the asparagus by snapping the asparagus spears individually between your fingers and then trim up the ends. The asparagus will snap where the spear becomes tough and woody, leaving only the tip and the tender spear.
Step 4: Place a medium size pot of water over high heat and bring to the boil, then add the sugar and salt. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender.
Step 5: Set up an iced water bath for refreshing asparagus. Once the asparagus is blanched, quickly place in water bath. Drain when cool.
Step 6: Heat a grill plate and brush the asparagus with the 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Season with a grind of freshly cracked pepper and then grill for 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 7: In the food processor combine the egg yolks with cooled Verjuice reduction and whiz to emulsify. Make sure the butter is quite warm – it needs to be about 70C. Whilst the food processor is running slowly pour in the warm nut brown butter to the egg mixture, like making a mayonnaise and till the thickness of one. Check seasoning and adjust.
Step 8: Place the asparagus on a plate and finish with a large dollop of the hollandaise.