Chef Travis Lett of Gjelina shares his spin on the classic Asparagus with Sauce Gribiche:
This riff on Asparagus with Sauce Gribiche incorporates the lovely red mullet bottarga from my friends at Cortez Bottarga. Try to score the fattest jumbo asparagus possible in early spring; if you’re not seeing it, ask a local farmer if they have some extra jumbo or if they are willing to cultivate it. Big, fat asparagus really is ideal for this preparation. If you are lucky enough to stumble onto jumbo white asparagus, it’s truly amazing prepared this way. I’ve only encountered beautiful white asparagus in France, where it has a very short season, and is celebrated by the chefs there.
- Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- 2 eggs
- 2 bunches jumbo asparagus
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
- 2 tablespoons dill, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon garlic croutons, crushed
- 1 ounce (30 grams) bottarga
- In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, cover the eggs with 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) cold water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let rest for 3 minutes, then remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon. Rinse the eggs under cool water, peel, and roughly chop. Set aside.
- Prepare an ice-water bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice. Peel the bottom third of the asparagus stalks with a vegetable peeler so they are uniformly thick. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook until tender but firm, 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer to the ice-water bath. Cool completely. Drain and toss with the olive oil.
- In a small bowl, combine the capers, shallot, parsley, dill, lemon juice, vinegar, and mustard. Stir to blend. Gently fold in the chopped egg. Season with salt and pepper. Set the gribiche aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat (or heat a gas grill to medium-high).
- Season the asparagus with salt and pepper, then transfer to the hot grill. Cook until seared, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side until seared, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving platter and scatter the gribiche over all. Sprinkle with the crouton crumbs and grate the bottarga generously over all. Serve warm or at room temperature.