Asparagus, crispy potatoes and radishes with herb hollandaise
- May 2015
- Serves 4 as a starter or lunch
- Hands-on time 25 min, oven time 30-40 min
Packed with seasonal produce and topped with herby hollandaise, this spring salad with asparagus is lovely with roast meat on a warm weekend – or as a starter to an Easter meal with all the family.
Or, if you’re looking for a vegan or vegetarian dish with asparagus, try Raymond Blanc’s grilled asparagus with vegetable crumble.
- 27.7g (9.8g saturated)
- 23.5g (5.3g sugars)
- 500g baby new potatoes
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 500g asparagus, in different sizes if you can, trimmed
- 200g breakfast radishes, halved
For the herb hollandaise
- 6 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 mace blades
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 2 medium free-range egg yolks
- 110g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, chilled in the fridge
- Handful each basil, chives and mint, finely chopped
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Put the potatoes in a pan, pour over boiling water to cover and boil for 7-8 minutes until not quite tender. Drain, allow to steam dry for a couple of minutes, then press each one with a fork to squash it partially. Tip the potatoes into a large roasting tin, drizzle over the olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, then roast for 30-40 minutes until crisp, tossing occasionally so they brown evenly.
- Around 20 minutes into the potatoes’ cooking time, make the hollandaise. Put the vinegar, shallots, mace and peppercorns into a saucepan with 6 tbsp water and bring to a rolling boil. Keep cooking until it has reduced to 2 tbsp liquid, then strain into a heatproof ceramic or glass bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then set the bowl over a pan of very gently simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl). Stir in the egg yolks along with a good pinch of salt.
- Using a small whisk, beat the mixture together until frothy and well combined, then add a cube of the butter, straight from the fridge. Whisk to melt the butter before adding the next. Carry on adding one cube at a time and whisking before adding another. The mixture should thicken after the third or fourth cube. If it stays runny, keep whisking for a while before adding the next piece. If the mixture starts to develop a greasy sheen on top, add a small splash of cold water and whisk again.
- Once you’ve added around two thirds of the butter and the sauce has thickened up, you can start adding a few chunks at a time. Once all the butter has been added, you should have a smooth sauce that thickly coats the back of a metal spoon. Turn off the heat, taste the hollandaise and add more salt or a squeeze of lemon juice if you think it needs it. It should taste slightly acidic, buttery and rounded. Cover with a piece of cling film touching the surface of the sauce, and leave the bowl sitting on top of the water (heat switched off) until ready to serve.
- Cook the asparagus spears in a steamer or pan of boiling water for 4-5 minutes until just tender (thin ones for 4 minutes, fatter ones for 5 minutes). Drain or remove the aparagus from the steamer to dry.
- To serve, toss the asparagus and radishes with the roast potatoes and season well. Tumble onto a platter. Stir the chopped herbs through the warm hollandaise, then dollop over the veg. Serve with crusty bread.
This makes a generous amount of hollandaise, so serve some on the side if people want extra. Mix any unused sauce with a little double cream to stabilise it, then chill for up to 2 days. Spread it on toast to serve with smoked fish or poached eggs for an indulgent breakfast.
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