Food Culture / Recipes

White Asparagus with Sour Cherry Sauce Maltaise and Almonds

Sauce Maltaise is a variation on sauce hollandaise that has the addition of blood orange.  It has been switched here for sour griottes cherries. The similar colors and acidic flavor makes it an obvious switch.  ‘Same, same but different’ is a nice way to sum up a lot of the dishes I like to make.


  • 2 bunches large white asparagus (peeled)
  • 300g sour cherry (destoned and halved)
  • 50g sugar
  • 2 lemons (juiced)
  • 180g clarified butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 200g Chopped roasted almonds
  • Salt 


In a small saucepan cook the cherry, sugar, half the lemon juice and water for 2-3 minutes till they just begin to break down.  Allow to cool. Now for the hollandaise, warm the clarified butter in a small saucepan. Place the egg yolks, white wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and a little cold water in a large metal bowl that will fit over a medium pan of very lightly simmering water. Whisk until it is pale and thick, careful not to get it too hot or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter bit by bit until it’s emulsified.  Add a few drops of water if you feel the sauce breaking. Season with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt. Keep warm. Now blanch the white asparagus in salted boiling water until tender. Take out, drain and transfer directly to the plate.  Spoon over the warm butter sauce, cherry mixture and chopped almonds. Serve immediately.