Take a tip and make the most of asparagus season, writes Tom Kitchin as he gives us this recipe for Asparagus and cockles with butter emulsion

  • 40
  • 4
  • Medium
Every year, I look forward to the arrival of asparagus season. Because asparagus is only in season for a short period, we chefs await this time of year with great excitement. We get our British asparagus early from the Wye Valley – bold and green with lovely thick, plump stalks. Then, when Scottish asparagus comes into season in early May, we source it from our trusted supplier Sandy Pattullo and his team at Eassie Farm. They’ve been bringing us some of the best asparagus in the world from the farm in Glamis, Perthshire, for almost ten years now. The recipe for asparagus with cockles and brown shrimps is a dish I came up with this year. I discovered how fantastic it tasted when we were trying to create a dish for a diner with dietary requirements and we started experimenting with different combinations. The asparagus is cooked in the sauce of the lovely fresh shellfish and takes on an incredible flavour.

Ingredients

  • 12 large spears of asparagus
  • 20 cockles
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 40 brown shrimps, peeled and cooked
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 75ml dry white wine
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 handful of chives, finely chopped

Method

Asparagus and cockles with butter emulsion

1 Rinse the cockles thoroughly under a running cold water tap for at least 30 minutes. Remove the woody stem from the bottom of the asparagus, approximately one inch.

2 Using a small vegetable knife, take the points off the asparagus, but be careful to leave the tip intact.

3 Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the cockles and chopped shallot and cook for 20 seconds. Steam the cockles for 2-3 minutes, or until they have opened. Strain the pan, reserving the liquid. Prepare the cockles by removing the gritty sacks from the meat and set aside.

4 Bring a large pan of water to the boil and season generously with salt. Cook the asparagus at a rolling boil for about 5 minutes until a knife easily pierces the thick part of the stem.

5 Meanwhile in another heavy-bottomed pan, reduce the chicken stock, white wine and the reserved cockle liquid by half. Whisk in the butter and the lemon zest and continue to reduce until you have a nice sauce consistency. Add the cockles along with their shells, shrimps and asparagus. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

6 Stir in the chives and serve.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.