Asparagus Ragout with Cherry Tomatoes and Chervil
- 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 15 tablespoons butter
- 2 pounds fresh white asparagus
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Dash of Tabasco
- 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh chervil leaves
- 16 to 20 small red cherry tomatoes
Bring 16 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Add 2 generous pinches of salt, 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of the butter. Meanwhile, trim about 1/2 inch from the ends of the asparagus. Lay the spears on a work surface, then peel thin skin from each with a sharp swivel blade vegetable peeler, starting 1 1/2 inches from the top and running the length of the spear. (Spears are brittle and can snap when peeled in midair.) Gather the spears into 4 bundles, tie loosely with kitchen string and lower into the simmering water. Cook, increasing the heat to medium-high if necessary to maintain a simmer, until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 8 to 30 minutes, depending on thickness. Lift the bundles from the simmering water and drain on paper towels.
Boil the wine and shallots in a medium heavy pan over medium-high heat until reduced by three-quarters, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cream and reduce again by half, 5 to 7 minutes; reduce the heat to low. Cut the remaining 12 tablespoons butter into pieces, then whisk into the pan, a few pieces at a time, until smooth. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste, Tabasco and remaining lemon juice. Cover and keep warm for up to 15 minutes.
Chop half the chervil and set aside. Untie the string from the asparagus, then cut the spears into 1 1/2-inch lengths and add to the warm beurre blanc. Cook for 1 minute, stirring gently until well coated. Add the tomatoes and chopped chervil and stir gently, then spoon into a warm serving dish. Garnish with the remaining chervil. Serve warm.
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Recipe reprinted by permission of World Publication, LLC. All rights reserved.
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