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This recipe is a great example of the very delicate approach to flavors that Anthimus takes. The asparagus is flavored slightly by seasonings in the water, but is dressed very simply with olive oil and salt. Once you try this version, you may never go back to hollandaise sauce!
The basic description is to boil either cultivated or wild asparagus in water that contains celery root or fennel root, and then to add mint and cilantro at the last minute. He warns against over-cooking the asparagus. The asparagus is dressed with salt and oil, while the liquid it was cooked in is to be drunk with wine (presumably mixed together).
I confess that I only once tried the liquid part of the dish. I'm not a wine drinker, but I'm willing to experiment. I have no idea whether it wasn't to my taste because of the wine or because of the asparagus-water. Someone else will have to supply this angle.
(I'll add my prior experiments at a later date.)
This is based on a 2-pound bunch of asparagus. For the 50-person dinner, I cooked an entire crate, with the other ingredients increased proportionately.
Fill a large sauce pan half full of water and add
Bring to a boil. Trim the ends off:
Add to the boiling water. Cook until tender but not mushy. Drain. Drizzle with:
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