There is a time for everything, including a time for asparagus and artichokes and cookbooks that are all about spring cuisine! Adding to the growing collection of beautiful cookbooks from the culinary world which are dedicated to seasonal cooking is one of London’s “most respected and acclaimed chefs” Skye Gyngell’s new cookbook Spring.
Ms. Gyngell, who also has published three other cookbooks*, is known “for her distinctively seasonal, elegant cooking, creating dishes inspired by what she saw growing and blossoming around her.” She also has a new restaurant by the same name “Spring” in the heart of London’s arts and culture district.
It is worth checking out her website, where you can find one of her shared recipes of the month (see below).
As she writes on her website, “At Spring food is celebrated for its conviviality and the joyfulness of sharing seasonal produce. Our cooking is heartfelt, wholesome, produce driven, and cooked by a team of people who are passionate about what they do and who feel truly privileged to work with beautiful ingredients. We hope to create an experience which not only sings on the plate but lingers in the memory.”
*Skye Gyngell’s cookbooks include: A Year in My Kitchen (2006), My Favourite Ingredients (2008), and How I Cook (2010)
Skye Gyngell’s April Recipe: Asparagus with Crème Fraîche and Parmesan
About 20 – 30 asparagus spears
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tbsp. mild-tasting extra virgin olive oil
Ingredients for the sauce:
2 organic free-range eggs
150ml (2/3 cup) crème fraiche
50g (3-4 Tablespoons) Parmesan, freshly grated
A scattering of borage flowers (or chervil or chives), to finish
Start with the sauce. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Break the eggs into a bowl that fits snugly on top of the pan and add a pinch of salt. Set the bowl over the pan of boiling water, making sure the base is not in contact with the boiling water, and whisk the eggs until smooth. Add the crème fraîche and whisk continuously until the sauce has slightly thickened; it will become thinner at first, then thicken and almost double in volume.
Remove the bowl from the pan. Add the grated Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine and set aside while you cook the asparagus.
Break off and discard the woody ends from the base of the asparagus stalks. Drop the asparagus spears into the pan of boiling water and cook for about 1 minute or until the asparagus is just tender to the bite. Using tongs, remove the asparagus from the water and drain well, then dress the olive oil and arrange on warm plates.
Set the bowl of sauce back over the pan and heat for a minute to ensure it is warm, then spoon generously over the asparagus. Finish with the borage flowers, if you have them, or chervil or chives.