Asparagus farmer Andrew Pimbley _320
CLAREMONT Farm Asparagus with Gazpacho, Citrus Hollandaise and Summer Cress (serves four)
Twelve spears of jumbo size asparagus, peeled and trimmed
1. In a pan, bring some water to the boil with 2 tbsp of Maldon salt. Once boiling, drop into it the washed and peeled asparagus, for no more than 2 minutes and refresh in a bowl of iced water.
Gazpacho (make in advance up to a day before and serve chilled)
1 bunch of watercress
1 punnet of purple cress (or red chard)
5 vine tomatoes (ripe)
½ cucumber peeled and diced
Juice of half a lemon
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed lemon to taste
100ml tomato juice
50ml olive oil
Fresh basil and parsley to taste
Extra virgin olive oil for dressing
Cracked black pepper to taste
Maldon Sea salt to taste
Pinch of pimento (smoked paprika)
2 pieces of stale bread
1. Cut the vine of tomatoes cut into chunks, peel the cucumber and cut into chunks, two or three pieces of stale bread torn into chunks, 50ml olive oil, lemon juice and 1 clove of garlic in a blender with 250ml water and a couple of ice cubes.
2. Process until smooth, adding water or straining if necessary. Season then refrigerate and serve, garnish with olive oil and cress.
2 large shallots
300ml white wine
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2 egg yolks
A squeeze of lemon juice and zest of lemon to taste
Maldon sea salt
1. Peel and chop the shallots, put them in a pan with the white wine, lemon zest and juice, black peppercorns, bay leaf and sprig of thyme, reduce by half, pass through a chinois (conical sieve) to create a liqueur.
2. Melt the butter and carefully remove the opaque film, that has formed on top, to clarify.
3. Put a pan of boiling water on the hob with a glass basin on top (taking care not to over heat), add the egg yolks to the liquor and hand whisk to emulsify to a "ribbon" or custard consistency, adding the butter in small quantities until it is all incorporated.
4. When at the required consistency season and spoon some of the sauce over the asparagus. Put the gazpacho in a shot glass. Serve with the asparagus with fresh salad cress.
* THIS recipe features in a new book about North West food and chefs, HomeGrown, which is available at good bookshops fin the region from this summer.