Just as the asparagus season comes to an end, here I come with a recipe with a novel and exciting way to prepare them…

The traditional way to prepare white asparagus over here is “à la Flamande”: with boiled new potatoes, chopped boiled egg, clarified butter or hollandaise sauce, and a couple of slices of cooked ham. Absolutely delicious!

This version is entirely different yet equally delicious: you undercook the asparagus and finish them off in a hot griddle pan. Covering them with good mature camembert or brie and take a blowtorch to them gives the dish a great smokiness. The gooey cheese gives a very indulgent flavor and texture but does not overpower the taste of the asparagus. We have tried this version a couple of times this year and are definitely not tired of it. It would work well with green asparagus too.

The recipe

  1. Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus, peel them (I ended up with about 800g / 28oz net weight), and boil them in salted water until “al dente”; they really still should have some texture at this point. Drain them and pat them dry with kitchen towels.
  2. In the meantime, heat a small empty frying pan to toast some seeds (I used a mix of sunflower, sesame, and watermelon seeds) until golden and crunchy.
  3. Cut the camembert or brie in slices (I used a whole 250g / 8oz Camembert Rustique de Printemps).
  4. Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot, brush the asparagus with avocado oil, and grill them for about 1 to 2 minutes to get a nice char, turn them – brushing them again with the avocado oil – and cook for another minute or so.
  5. Take them from the griddle pan and put them on an ovenproof serving dish.
  6. Arrange the cheese on top and take a blowtorch to them and let it melt and bubble. In the absence of a pyrotechnics department, you can also whack the entire serving dish under the preheated grill or broiler.
  7. Season and finish with the toasted seeds for a beautiful crunchy element.fullsizeoutput_15a0

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