It’s Sunday again. That’s come to mean a few things around here. One – I’m going to make a big meal. Two – We’re going to eat ridiculously early (at least compared to our normal 8:30 p.m. or later). And three – by 6 p.m., I’m going to be alone in our apartment again, sitting with Brix and waiting for Friday once more. I’ve sort of come to dislike 6 p.m.
Once upon a time, I interviewed for a Food Editor position with a culinary publication. In my preparations for the line of questioning to come, I knew I was likely to be asked one of two things. What would be your last meal? or What is your favorite food? Either question is extremely tough for me to answer. My last meal would be a smorgasbord of favorite things – fried green tomatoes doused with lemon juice and Frank’s Red Hot, asparagus with bearnaise, eggs benedict with hollandaise, shellfish of any kind drizzled with beurre blanc, roasted chicken with white wine gravy, creamy polenta with a garden fresh chunky tomato sauce, french fries and white truffle aioli, and before I knew it, I had the answer to my favorite food. Sauce.
B laughed when I first told him that sauce was my favorite food. But it’s true. Anytime I make anything that has a sauce, a salsa, a reduction or the like, I almost always double the recipe because I know we’re certain to find that particular serving dish to be the first one emptied. And I’m not the only guilty party. B’s just as likely to pile on the sauce as I am, although he somehow finds a way to be more prudent with the ones loaded with eggs or butter. That’s ok though, more for me!
So it came to be Sunday once again. Having kicked off the blog almost a year ago with a recipe for a sweet zabaglione (zab-ah-yōn), I thought it was fitting to celebrate our almost-anniversary with a savory version of the same sauce. The verdant thin stalks of spring asparagus make a perfect vehicle for a decadent sauce, but even more so when roasted until tender and the spears become crispy and nutty. And while the pronunciation of zabaglione may trip you up a bit, the creation of it couldn’t be simpler. Egg yolks and white wine are whipped to soft peaks then punched with freshly ground black pepper for a lively kick. The addition of butter adds richness and creaminess to the lush sauce and a light dusting of grated parmesan rounds it out with a salty bite. Asparagus, and Sundays, never had it so good.
roasted asparagus with black pepper zabaglione
adapted from mario batali
1 lb. fresh asparagus, spears trimmed and peeled if necessary
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 large egg yolks
1/4 c. dry white wine (such as chardonnay)
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 tsp. parmesan
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roll asparagus until thoroughly coated and roast for 15 minutes.
Prepare a double boiler and bring water to a slow simmer. In top pan/bowl of double boiler, place egg yolks and white wine. Whisk over gently simmering water for about 6 minutes or until doubled in size and soft peaks are forming. Add butter, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until thoroughly incorporated and melted. Add 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Fold in to incorporate. Place asparagus on serving plates and top with about 2 1/2 Tbsp. black pepper zabaglione. Sprinkle with about 1 tsp. parmesan and serve immediately.
Waiting for Friday once again,
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