Asperges en Chemise – In the Pace of the Seasons

As asparagus season slowly comes to a turn in our corner and we slide into the exquisitely languid summer months (hopefully, currently we’re all down to wet and cold), this year, with all that happened during the past months, the change perhaps is a little more marked. Now I am my mother’s daughter, and seasonal cooking is a prerogative, never would I buy strawberries in winter or oranges in summer. I have been raised in the pace of the seasons, its produce, its particular vibes and moods, the philosophy of my cuisine, the one that I was taught by my mother and my grandmother. I have learnt to feel and appreciate change through cooking.

It’s going to be the first potatoes and tomatoes soon, baby runner beans and courgette flowers are out and peas tumbling over our salad. Before finally bidding the fresh spring evenings farewell, I made a last batch of asparagus, Asperges en Chemise, asparagus in a shirt, which is a combination of pasta and a fluffy garlic and cream infusion. Very tasty.

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What you’ll need

I often serve this as a light main. In case you’d like to serve this as a starter, just halve the quantities.

3-5 white or purple asparagus per person

Sugar

A clove of garlic

1dl of cream (crème fraîche if you can get a hold on it)

0.5dl Noilly Prat or Sherry

Salt and pepper

Fresh butter

Olive oil

Fresh pasta dough (see here for the recipe if you’d like to make it yourself)

How to do it

Preparations:

Peel the garlic and halve, let simmer in the cream and Noilly Prat. Season with pepper and salt.

Generously peel the asparagus and cook them in water, adding one to two teaspoons of sugar. Strain but keep a sip of asparagus cooking water, add a nut of butter, season with salt and pepper and let sit on a warm spot for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 100°C and roll out the pasta dough to thin layers about 40 cm long and 10 cm wide. Cook the layers for 3 minutes.

Assembly:

Sprinkle a wide plate with olive oil and place a layer of pasta in it. Place 3-5 asparagus on it and gently wrap the pasta around it. Continue with the rest of the pasta and asparagus. Whisk the asparagus water and butter until it amalgamates and pour over the asparagus wraps. Finally add the garlic infusion and bake for 15 minutes.

How to eat it

With a glass of mineral burgundy white and don’t forget the baguette bread to dip into the sauce.

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