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Asparagus with Leeks in a Beurre Blanc Sauce

Season: Spring

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

This is an elegant easy recipe that has lots of big flavor.

Serves 4

32 pencil thin asparagus spears ( 20 thicker spears)

1 leek, well washed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 shallots ,peeled and finely minced

1/2 cup tarragon

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

( 1 stick ) unsalted butter, cut into 1- inch pieces

zest from 1 lemon

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

In a large skillet blanch the leek leaves in boiling water until tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towel. Let cool, and cut leaves into long 1/2 inch wide strips.

To prepare asparagus, snap off bottom stems where they naturally snap.

Steam the stalks in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and lay out in single file.

Keep warm while preparing the sauce. If using thicker asparagus blanch for 3-4 minutes.

Simmer the shallots in the vinegar in a small non reactive saucepan for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Strain.

Whisk butter,1 tablespoon at a time, into the vinegar until smooth. The mixture should have the same consistency as thin mayonnaise. Add chopped tarragon.

Season to taste. Use immediately, or keep warm over a bain Marie.

Do not reheat as the butter will melt and the mixture will separate.

Gather the asparagus in bunches of 8, and carefully tie each bunch with a strip of the leek leave.

Trim the ends with a kitchen scissor so they are all even. Sprinkle lemon zest and a drizzle of the beurre blanc and serve.



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