Baby Purple Asparagus with Leeks and Black Truffles

Credit: Didier Loire


Step 1: Truffle

Brush the truffle with a nail brush, and wipe with paper towels. Trim over a sheet of parchment paper to shape into a barrel. Cut 8 1/15 inch (2 mm) strips, and wrap the rest in a damp cloth and keep in a cold place. Chop the trimmings and set aside.

Step 2: Vegetables

Peel, wash, drain, and dry the asparagus in a cloth. Cut the asparagus 4 3/4 inches (12 cm) from the tips, and make four bundles, each containing 5 asparagus.

Remove the roots from the leeks, without cutting the leek itself. Trim the leaves so that they are all the same size. Wash, drain, and pat the leeks dry with a cloth. Make two bundles, each containing 10 leeks.

Pour 3 1/2 cups (80 cl) light chicken stock into a saucepan, season lightly with coarse gray sea salt, and bring to a boil. Put the bundles of leeks in the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. The heat should be very low so as not to damage the leeks or reduce the stock too much so than it becomes too strong.

Put the bundles of asparagus into a saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for 5 minutes.

Once the vegetables are cooked, drain carefully and untie the bundles.

Step 4: Finishing and Plating

Place the asparagus in a sauté pan with the leeks. Fold the leeks so that they are the same size as the asparagus.

Add the chopped truffle, the strips of truffle, the olive oil, the butter, and 1/2 cup (10 cl) chicken stock. Season lightly with salt and simmer. Keep the pan moving constantly with a circular movement.

The resulting sauce will be very delicate. If the fat splits from the stock, it means that there is too much butter and oil. Should that be the case, add some more stock. Speed is of the essence for this dish to be a success—it should not take more than 5 minutes to finish the dish.

Add a few drops of balsamic vinegar and sherry vinegar and check the seasoning.

Serve the asparagus and the leeks head to tail, one next to the other, on a plate. Coat with the cooking juice, and grate the rest of the truffle over the top. Add a ribbon of olive oil and sprinkle on a few grains of fleur de sel. Serve immediately.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits