British Asparagus is currently in season, so there’s no better time to make use of this glorious vegetable whilst they are at their peak. I love its versatility and one of my favourite ways to eat it is lightly charred on a griddle pan, which wake up the bitter, sweet, flavours. I also love it with the French mayonnaise-style egg sauce, Sauce Gribiche. Asparagus and eggs is a classic combination. I’ve added smoked anchovies (bought from Brindisa) to the union to make a chunky and punchy sauce gribiche. It’s a marriage made in heaven and makes for a very tasty starter.
This is based on Elizabeth David’s recipe for gribiche, that tasty sauce made with slightly soft hard-boiled egg. It’s great with asparagus, but also try it with fish or cold chicken.
Asparagus with Sauce Gribiche with Smoked Anchovies
A classic French sauce
- 1 egg
- 5 smoked anchovies
- 1 small gherkin, finely chopped
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp capers, chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- A couple of gratings of lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2½ tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bundle fresh asparagus, steamed or roasted.
- Step 1 Put the egg in a pan with hot tap water, rapidly bring to a boil and boil for exactly four minutes. Drain and cool quickly in cold water.
- Step 2 Mix together the gherkin, anchovies, shallot, capers, parsley, lemon zest and black pepper. Stir in the lemon juice and then the oil, whisking as you go. Halve the egg, scoop out the slightly runny yolk and mash it against the side of a bowl before whisking into the shallot mixture until smooth. Chop the egg white quite finely, then stir that in, too. Season to taste. Serve alongside the asparagus.