Steamed Asparagus with Orange Hollandaise

Seasonal asparagus seems to call out and say “Come and buy me”, especially when you visit a farm shop and they are beautifully presented in chunky bundles. Even though some of us have to put up with an unpleasant side effect – you know, in the same category as wonderfully nutty Jerusalem Artichokes! – I still think asparagus is a must eat at this time of year. This recipe for Steamed Asparagus with Orange Hollandaise is a classic accompaniment to steamed asparagus. A simple dish from Country Living that’s simply delish.

Steamed Asparagus with Orange Hollandaise / What's Cooking / CountryWives online magazine for womenSteamed Asparagus with Orange Hollandaise

Ingredients  serves 4
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
4 white peppercorns, crushed (optional)
juice and zest of 1 medium orange
2 bunches asparagus spears, trimmed
3 large egg yolks
150g unsalted butter, melted and kept hot

How to prepare
1. Simmer the lemon juice, white wine vinegar and peppercorns in a small pan until reduced by half. Strain and leave to cool.
2. Simmer the orange juice in a small pan until reduced by a third.
3. Steam the asparagus for 4-5 minutes until tender (depends on its thickness). Keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, put the yolks in blender and whizz for a few seconds. With the blender running, add the lemon juice mixture, then slowly pour in the melted butter. It will thicken to the consistency of single cream.
5. Stir in the orange juice and zest. Serve immediately drizzled over the steamed asparagus.