Ingredients: Per 4 servings
- 2 lb asparagus, (preferably white asparagus from Bassano)
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 anchovies, chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
- 1 lemon
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the eggs by emerging them in boiling water and letting them cook for 8 minutes.
Once hard-boiled, remove them from the water, peal and cut in half.
Remove the yolks from the whites and pass the yolks through a sieve.
Add lemon juice to the egg yolks and begin to slowly add the olive oil, mixing continuously.
Chop half of the egg whites and add them to the sauce. Also add capers and chopped anchovies.
Adjust the salt and pepper, and if need be, add more lemon juice.
Then prepare the asparagus, by removing the fibrous part of the stalk.
Tie into a bunch and place asparagus in a tall, narrow pot standing upright.
Add cold water until it covers 2/3rds of the stalk and boil for about 8 minutes. Serve the asparagus hot, to dip in the sauce.
Or you can let them cool and place them on a place with a garnish of the remaining chopped white egg whites.
Asparagus is a plant originally from Mesopotamia. People normally eat the shoots of the plant that sprout up from the roots. Brought to the Mediteranean by the Egyptians, asparagus quickly reached the Greeks and the ancient Romans. In fact, Theophrastus, mentioned asparagus in his History of Plants, written in the 5th century, whereas the Romans were probably the first people to consume asparagus for pleasure rather than for their therapeutic properties. In a record written by Juvenal, the author describes that mountain asparagus were served during a banquet. In the Middle Ages, these sprouts were used again for their medicinal properties as is documented by the fact that Platina recommends, in his book De honesta voluptade, that people with intestinal problems eat asparagus for breakfast. Asparagus then became known as an incredible aphrodisiac, a claim backed by the famous Medical School of Salerno and which made asparagus famous throughout the Europe. The king of France, Louis XIV, was particularly fond of asparagus and even ate them during the wintertime. While, legend has it that Napoleon III would cancel a romantic dinner if it wasn’t possible to serve asparagus.
Did you known that...
Even back in the Roman Age, people knew to cook asparagus just for a few minutes? Suetonius once compared a quick military attack of Emperor Augustus to the time it takes to cook asparagus.