When asparagus is boiled in water, it loses flavour and the margin for error is small: leave it a fraction too long and it will be overcooked. Cooking asparagus sous vide preserves the flavour and reduces the danger of overcooking because the low temperature prevents the cells from breaking down too quickly.
- Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 75⁰C.
- Prepare the asparagus by paring off the exterior skin and removing the woody ends.
- Seal inside a vacuum bag with a pinch of salt and a dash of olive oil.
- Place the vacuum bag in the water bath and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes. The thicker the spears, the longer they will take to cook. To test the asparagus, gently squeeze the base of one of the spears through the vacuum bag; if it feels tender, it is done.
- Remove the bag from the water. The asparagus is now ready to serve. If not using the spears immediately, plunge them into iced water for 2 3 minutes to stop them cooking.
Explore the effect of different fats on the flavour of the asparagus. Try replacing the olive oil with butter, rapeseed oil or hazelnut oil.
You could use sous-vide asparagus to make Josh Eggleton’s Fried duck egg with asparagus and truffle, a perfect dish for a lavish breakfast, or Colin McGurran’s Chicken with wild garlic and asparagus, an elegant main packed with springtime ingredients. Those who fancy a bit more of a challenge might want to try Agnar Sverrisson’s delicious Asparagus with Parmesan snow, olive biscuit and hazelnuts.
Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com