Asparagus with Cream Sauce
Swabian, Vegetables, Vegetarian

White Asparagus with Cream Sauce (‘Spargel mit heller Soße’)

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In Germany, everyone goes crazy for white asparagus with Sauce Hollandaise. It’s a wonderful dish with a very rich taste. But there’s something much better than Sauce Hollandaise for asparagus: White Asparagus with cream sauce.

The simple cream sauce in this recipe is so much more flavorful and complex than Sauce Hollandaise could ever be. It’s lighter, creamier, and there’s no risk for it to separate.

It’s loaded with natural asparagus flavor because it is based on a flavorful asparagus broth made from the peel and trimmings of white asparagus.

Asparagus Broth

It’s genius because this dish combines two dishes in one: Steamed/ Boiled asparagus and cream of asparagus soup. Yes, this sauce tastes very similar to my cream of asparagus soup.

The difference is that this sauce contains no white wine but instead relies on lemon juice as the sole source of acidity. Also, for a sauce, I always enrich it at the end with an egg yolk. That gives it a much silkier mouthfeel. However, please don’t boil the sauce vigorously after this step so that the egg yolk doesn’t curdle.

Enriching the cream sauce with egg yolk

How to cook the asparagus to go with your cream sauce

The asparagus is blanched in saltwater until tender. It should retain a small bite so that it has a buttery, almost meaty texture. You could, of course, also steam it if you prefer steamed over boiled asparagus. But please don’t use a dry cooking method like baking. That dries out the asparagus and ruins the texture.

Blanching white asparagus in water

In Southern Germany, it’s very common to serve this dish with savory torn pancakes (‘Kratzete’, ‘Eierhaber’, ‘Schmarrn’). I will post my recipe for this Swabian classic in the future. It’s also great with thin German-style pancakes or boiled potatoes (for the Northern Germans).

The sprinkling of chervil leaves on top is optional. Don’t worry if you can’t source them. I think their anise flavor nicely complements the dish. Chives would also complement this dish nicely if you like herbs in your food as much as I do.

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