Pascale’s Recipes from “A Journey Through a Culinary Garden”

White Asparagus with A Herbed Mousseline Sauce

Makes 8 servings

2 pounds white asparagus, bottom half of the stems peeled and trimmed (see note)

4 egg yolks

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Large pinch salt

10 ounces butter, clarified

4 tablespoons crème fraiche

½ bunch parsley, finely chopped

½ bunch dill, finely chopped

White pepper

Place the asparagus in a shallow pan filled with boiling water and cook until tender—about 10 minutes. Check the asparagus before removing them to make sure they are cooked correctly—the white variety takes a little longer to cook than the green ones, which unlike the white ones, can be eaten al dente.

When they are cooked remove them, drain and set aside on a platter.

While the asparagus is cooking, prepare the sauce. Place the egg yolks, half the lemon juice and the salt in a medium-sized stainless steel bowl and whisk until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk the egg mixture until the egg just begins to thicken, being careful not to overcook the eggs—they will turn to scrambled eggs quickly otherwise.

Remove the bowl from the pan and very slowly whisk in the butter until it is all incorporated. Add the remaining lemon juice and the crème fraiche and whisk well so that the sauce is homogenous. Add the freshly chopped herbs and the pepper and stir again. Serve immediately.

Note: White asparagus need to have their stalks peeled. And since the stalks break easily, the easiest way to do this is to place them on your work surface with the tips facing towards you. Then using a vegetable peeler, peel the stalks, starting about 2 inches from the tip, making sure you hold the asparagus flat on the surface as you work.

Herb-Crusted, Roasted Racks of Lamb

Makes 8 servings

2 racks of lamb, Frenched if possible or trimmed of almost all the fat

4 cloves garlic, crushed

11⁄2 tablespoons coarse salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped

1⁄4 cup thyme, chopped

Olive oil

1⁄2 glass red wine

2 tablespoons cold butter

With a sharp knife, score the back of each rack of lamb in a crisscross pattern, cutting ¼ inch into the meat.

In a small bowl mix all the remaining ingredients so that they create a thick paste. Spoon the paste over the racks of lamb, rubbing it thoroughly into the skin and into the cuts. Leave for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking, as the flavors will permeate the meat.

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Pour a little olive oil in an ovenproof skillet and heat over medium heat. Sauté the racks in the skillet for 5 minutes meat side down, then place the skillet in the oven and roast for a further 15 to 20 minutes for pink meat. Remove from the oven and place the racks on a wooden chopping board and cover them loosely with foil—let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.

Place the skillet back on the stove top and de-glaze the skillet with a little red wine, reducing the pan juices by half. Add the 2 tablespoons cold butter to the pan and let it melt slowly. Cut the racks and place two chops onto each plate and pour a little of the pan juices over the chops. Serve with the salad.

Spring Pea and Fava Bean Salad

Makes 8 servings

Olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon

1 pound spring peas, shelled

3 pounds fava beans (once shelled, this will yield about 2 to 2½ cups, see note)

4 stems green onions, thinly sliced

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced

1⁄3 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced

1⁄4 cup fresh dill, chopped

4-inch long piece daikon radish, diced

Freshly ground pepper

Lemon juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

Pour a little olive oil into a large pan placed over medium heat. Add in the lemon zest, a good pinch of salt, spring peas and fava beans and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place the green onions, apple, radish, mint and dill in a salad bowl. Add the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and tarragon vinegar over the top. Add the cooked spring peas to the salad bowl and toss gently so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Note: Fava beans need to be shelled twice. Do not let this put you off as the end result is worth the extra effort. First pop them out of their long pods by running your thumb down the length of the seam. Check the pods beforehand to make sure that they are indeed filled with beans. They can sometimes be half full. The beans have a pale green membrane that also needs to be peeled. You can either do this with a small paring knife or plunge the beans into a large pot of boiling water 45 seconds, remove them from the water and then use your fingers to ease them out of the second shell.

Apricots in Baumes de Venise

Makes 8 servings

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and the beans scraped out with a knife

1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice

1 cup Baumes de Venise, or another sweet white wine like an orange Muscat or late harvest dessert wine

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon orange flower water

1⁄2 cinnamon stick

2 cloves

16–24 apricots, cut in half

Place all of the ingredients except the apricots in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it has boiled, lower the heat and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly.

Turn to low heat and place the apricots in the saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes. The apricots will begin to soften. Turn off the heat but leave the apricots in the syrup, as they will continue to cook. They can remain in the saucepan until you are ready to plate the dessert.

When you are ready to serve, spoon the apricots and some of the syrup into small bowls, serving the cookies (see recipe below) alongside.

Citrus Cookies

Makes 30 cookies

6 ounces (11⁄2 sticks) butter

2 teaspoons lemon olive oil

4 ounces (just under 1⁄2 cup) sugar

Zest of 1 large orange (you can also use blood oranges, when in season)

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

10 ounces (2 1⁄4 cups) flour

Preheat the oven to 300°.

Place the butter in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft and fluffy. Add in the lemon olive oil and sugar, and beat again until well combined, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl occasionally.

Add in the orange zest, pepper and half the flour and mix together at slow speed. Add in the remaining flour and mix again until the dough has just come together. Remove the dough from the bowl and combine into a ball.

Lightly flour a countertop or clean work surface and place the dough in the center. Gently roll out the dough until it is approximately 14-inch thick. Using a round, fluted cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Cook the cookies for 35–45 minutes in the center of the oven. They should be a pale golden color. Place them on a wire rack to cool. They will keep for several days in a sealed container.

Categories Spring
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