My first meal in my new Chicago apartment was going to be a simple one. I never get tired of a nice roasted vegetable with a complementary sauce and asparagus with hollandaise is one of my favorites. For Asparagus I used the simple recipe Ina Garten has posted on the Food Network website (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-asparagus-recipe.html).
Something that will son become apparent on my blog is that I almost never invent recipes, I add onto or modify existing ones. I truly believe that cooking is a process of mistakes and successes that eventually lead to becoming a “good cook.” I like to spend my free time thinking about how flavors mix and then experimenting with combining them in the kitchen. Thus, with a small addition to this recipe I believe I improved it. By roasting the lavender the asparagus acquired a slight caramelized flavor and a smoky aroma.
After moving to my new place in Chicago I realized just how big awesome the garden was behind the house. By volunteering to tend to it for the woman who’s place I’m filling, she allowed em to take whatever I need from the plethora of herbs she has. However, I had brought my own lavender from home and it was dried slightly, making it better suited for roasting.
The hollandaise sauce was another Food Network recipe in the How-to section, but one I’ve made so many times its essentially memorized. You can find it here (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/blender-hollandaise-recipe.html). I substituted ground cayenne with homegrown chopped red peppers.
Roasted Lavender Asparagus
– 1 Bundle of asparagus
– Fresh olive oil (I used a Coratina I got at a little olive oil shop in Columbus, OH)
– Kosher salt
– Freshly ground pepper
– 2 tablespoons of minced lavender leaves
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Before unbundling the asparagus, cut off 1 inch of the base of the stalks to avoid the woody parts of the stem. In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil over the asparagus just enough to coat the stalks. Sprinkle with salt, ground pepper, and minced lavender. Toss everything together so that the oil and spices are evenly distributed on the asparagus stalks. Lie out the stalks on an ungreased cookie sheet in a single layer. At this time you may wish to begin making the hollandaise sauce. Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes.
To serve arrange roasted stalks in a triangle pattern and drizzle with hollandaise.
– 2 large egg yolks
– 1 stick of unsalted butter
– 1 lemon, juiced
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 red chili pepper, minced
Melt the stick of butter in either a pan on low heat or a microwave safe dish. In a blender, blend together the egg yolks, salt, lemon juice and chili pepper until the yolks appear off-white in color. Add the melted butter while the other ingredients are blending until fully integrated. Serve warm and keep any leftovers in a jar under refrigeration.