Gourmet Roasted Asparagus Appetizer with Salmon Caviar
This delicious recipe combines perfectly roasted asparagus with Hollandaise sauce (the traditional accompaniment for asparagus) and salmon caviar. Salmon caviar, or salmon roe, comes from the Chinook salmon (King salmon) of the Great Lakes. The big, orange-colored eggs have soft, juicy centers. The roe is low in salt and the flavor is sweet and clean.
You can easily double this asparagus appetizer recipe. If you do this, make sure you arrange the spears on the baking sheet with the tips pointing towards the middle and the thicker bases pointing outwards. The tips are thinner so they cook quicker but, when roasting, anything at the outer edge of the pan cooks faster (just think about how cakes can be done on the outside yet still runny in the middle) so doing this will help your asparagus to cook evenly. You can roast the asparagus spears whole or halved and serve it either way.
Make sure you time everything well so the asparagus and sauce are ready at the same time. The asparagus should be hot (you can leave for a couple of minutes if the sauce is not finished on time). Arrange the asparagus on top of the sauce and serve it hot. If you let the sauce sit for too long, it can develop a skin, which would reduce the appeal of this asparagus appetizer recipe a little.
- 1 lb asparagus
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small pot salmon caviar, for garnish
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Cut the woody ends off the asparagus and arrange the spears in a shallow roasting pan.
- Drizzle the olive oil over them and sprinkle with salt. Roll to coat well.
- Roast the asparagus for 10 minutes or until it is nicely tender. Shake the pan halfway through the cooking time.
- While the asparagus is cooking, make the sauce.
- Pulse the egg yolks, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in a blender a couple of times, to combine everything.
- Melt the butter in the microwave and gradually add it to the egg, until the sauce is frothy and smooth.
- If it is too thick, you can blend in a teaspoon of warm water.
- Season it with salt and divide it between 4 warmed shallow bowls.
- Top the sauce with the asparagus, grinding some black pepper on top if you like, and garnish with salmon caviar.
This is a simple yet delicious appetizer and you can either serve the asparagus stalks whole or halved, as shown in the picture. The creamy sauce and savory asparagus are great partners and the juicy, slightly sweet salmon roe is an ideal way to up the gourmet factor and also to add a contrasting flavor to the dish. You could serve this as a side dish, rather than an appetizer, if you wanted, or even a complete meal for vegetarians, if you add a poached egg to make it more substantial. This easy asparagus recipe is perfect if you want a hot impressive appetizer.
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