Tom Kitchin recipe: Asparagus and cockles with butter emulsion

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

Published: May 10, 2016
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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.




  • 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
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