asparagus and hot smoked salmon, hazelnut gibriche

I love the springtime pairing of asparagus and egg, whether it be a runny yolk, a velvety hollandaise or as in this case a variation on a classic egg sauce – hazelnut gribiche.

I used sauce gribiche with a fishcake recipe last year and in its traditional form is full of herbs and works really well with fish and cold cuts of meat. This time I have taken out the herbs and replaced them with bashed hazelnuts giving a mayonnaise like sauce and by using the cooked yolk and chopped white technique of sauce gribiche it adds a lovely bit of texture, which more importantly compliments the flavour of the asparagus and the beautiful Scottish hot smoked salmon.

Fresh new season asparagus is a real treat and considered one of the great vegetable delicacies of Britain – in fact I heard that it has been grown with great success in Renfrewshire, which I can’t wait to try. It is also packed full of nutrients – potassium, calcium, iron and vitamins K, E and C, so more good reasons to sample this spring treat. Enjoy.

words – Justin Maule

The Method

Serves 4

20 large asparagus spears, peeled
200g hot smoked salmon, skinned and broken up
small bunch cress, washed
small bunch red amaranth, washed
sea salt flakes and black pepper

2 eggs, medium hard boiled, yolks removed, white chopped
50g chopped hazelnuts
1/2tbsp Dijon mustard
70ml white-wine vinegar
200ml olive oil
sea salt flakes and black pepper

1. Drop asparagus into a large pan of boiling salted water, cook for 4-5 mins till just tender, drain, plunge into cold water and drain again. Pat dry with kitchen towel.
2. Whisk egg yolks together with mustard, vinegar and salt and pepper. Slowly add oil whist whisking till emulsified. Stir in hazelnuts and season to taste.
3. Arrange 5 spears on plate, drizzle with gribiche, flake over salmon, season and sprinkle herb salad.