Roasted Asparagus in Beurre Blanc

March 13th, 2008


Asparagus has not made its way to our farmer’s market yet, but it must be in season somewhere, because every grocery store or vegetable market I went to this week had it on sale.  It seemed like fate, because I have been thinking for weeks that I would like to try my hand at a classic beurre blanc, and what goes better with a rich, french, buttery sauce than crisply roasted asparagus?

I did think, for a moment, about making hollandaise instead, for a much more traditional asparagus pairing.  But then I thought, “everyone has had asparagus with hollandaise,” why would I bother to post a recipe that everyone already knows about?  Ok, ok, so perhaps I have done that many times in the past, but I try to be at least somewhat creative, adding my own little touches or twists on each dish I write about.  So buerre blanc it was.

As you can see from my photo, I didn’t strain the sauce once it was prepared, and I went a little heavy on the shallots — I am still trying to use up a bag from last week’s farmer’s market, and I’m not sure how much longer they will hold out! 

I will be making this again, for guests, for sure.  It takes a little time to make, but it’s so rich and luxusious, and so lovely on the plate, I want to show it off!  I know beurre blanc is a popular pairing with simply steamed seafood entrees, so that will probably be the next try!  But I can think of a million uses for it already — that’s the versatility of a classic french sauce for you. 

In other news, I was at one point thinking about taking a “Sauces” cooking class in the next few months.  But, while there is nothing I love more than learning all the tips and tricks and theory that only a good instructor can teach, I decided that before spending the money for the class, I would try to make them on my own, using The Art of Simple Food and these helpful videos, both of which I very heartily recommend.  So far, I have made béchamel, crème anglaise, homemade mayonnaise, several variations of homemade tomato sauce, a number of quick pan gravies, and now beurre blanc. What’s next?


Roasted Asparagus in Beurre Blanc

For the asparagus:
2 lbs fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil

For the buerre blanc:
3 shallots, chopped very finely
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, chopped into 1-tbsp pieces

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
2. Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a pan and roast for 15-18 minutes, turning once, until crispy and lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine shallots, vinegar and wine. Simmer until almost all the liquid is gone (shallots should be moist, but there should be little to no liquid in the pan). Salt the shallots to taste.
4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the first tablespoon of butter, whisking constantly. When each tablespoon is almost melted, stir in the next tablespoon. If the butter doesn’t seem to be melting, return the pan to the burner over VERY low heat until warmed again (higher heat will cause the butter to separate). If the sauce starts to look oily, remove it from the heat and keep whisking.
5. Once all 8 tablespoons of butter are incorporated, pour the sauce over the cooled asparagus, and serve.

Serves four.

Tags: food · side dishes

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cakespy // Mar 13, 2008 at 10:53 am

    I don’t know, looks pretty good to me! I adore asparagus, as funny as it makes your pee smell. It is worth it!

  • 2 Donald // Mar 13, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Oh now that sauce needs plugra – you know to plugra your arteries! I think I could just drink the sauce…how about that on fish?

  • 3 argus // Mar 13, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Oh, Katy. Of course you’d get a marriage proposal based on one post — your picture at top left is absolutely gorgeous. And I’m a woman. 😉

    By the way, the asparagus dish looks perfect for dinner tonight.

  • 4 adele // Mar 13, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Mmm. I think the unstrained sauce looks great. Shallots are tasty. (And if you have a lot that might be getting past their prime, I believe Orangette had a recipe for slow-roasted shallots that looked good.)

    One tiny thing, though: “beurre,” and not “buerre.” The French delight in non-phonetic spelling.

  • 5 Deborah // Mar 13, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I have never made a beurre blanc before.  So many things I need to try!!

  • 6 katy // Mar 13, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Cakespy — I agree!

    Donald — I know, it’s definitely a once-in-a-while treat.  But so yummy!

    Argus — Aww, thank you!  You don’t think it was my banana souffle that did it??

    Adele — Gah!!  Thank you — I corrected it!  And thanks for the heads up on the shallots recipe — I definitely still have some leftover!

    Deborah — You definitely do!

  • 7 Alcohol Posts » Roasted Asparagus in Buerre Blanc // Mar 14, 2008 at 8:10 am

    […] katy wrote a fantastic post today on “Roasted Asparagus in Buerre Blanc”Here’s ONLY a quick extractIn a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine shallots, vinegar and wine. Simmer until almost all the liquid is gone (shallots should be moist, but there should be little to no liquid in the pan). Salt the shallots to taste. … […]

  • 8 kate // Mar 14, 2008 at 10:49 am

    even i’ve never given beurre blanc a try before. I think it would go so well on some lovely tender white fish.

  • 9 Rachel@fairycakeheaven // Mar 15, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Looks fantastic, have some asparagus in the fridge, think this is what’ll happen to it!!!

  • 10 White On Rice Couple // Mar 16, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    We made a breakfast of roasted asparagus with bechemel sauce for breakfast today. Love the asparagus! Great minds think alike ! 🙂

  • 11 Emiline // Mar 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Asparagus is most definitely coming into season.  We grow it in our garden.  This sounds delicious.

  • 12 Jen (Modern Beet) // Mar 17, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I found asparagus at the farmer’s market for the first time this past weekend and bought an inordinate amount of it (I’ve been waiting MONTHS!).  Beurre blanc, hollandaise, bechamel — I love them all with asparagus…

    I’ve got a post coming soon for Asparagus & Pea Shoot pasta with bechamel — there are so many twists on the classic asparagus/cream combinations!

  • 13 katie // Mar 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    I got the first asparagus of the season last week!  I love beurre blanc sauce but have never made it… I just see all that butter and can’t do it.  Funny, I have no problem at all eating it if someone else makes it.
    I’ll just come to your house – it looks wonderful!

  • 14 katy // Mar 19, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Rachel — Oh good!

    White on Rice Couple — Yes, they definitely do!

    Emiline — I’m so jealous of your garden!

    Jen — I will do the same thing the minute we get berries and summer fruit at ours!

    Katie — I know what you mean!  It’s definitely a once-in-a-while sauce!

  • 15 keith // Mar 21, 2008 at 12:00 am

    in response to your wondering if shallots would last I have an idea the next time you want to use some up…
    Coat them and a few garlic cloves in olive oil, a little salt and pepper..then roast at 300 until good and caramelized..then cool and move to a food processor with some garlic…process with a few thyme leaves then add one pound of roo temp butter….you’ll make roasted shallot/thyme compound in many dishes….like the roasted this butter while making the burre blanc…

    Nice blog…shoulnd’t you be writing boring legal briefs?


  • 16 Katherine // Aug 21, 2008 at 8:16 am

    I finally tried this one out. I definitely see what you mean about whisking in the butter on no heat. I followed the directions, but the butter still separated for the first half or so of tablespoons I added. The reason was that the oven was still warm from cooking the asparagus, and my ancient oven has a way of making the entire stovetop totally hot when it has been on recently. I should have done the mixing over another surface, if possible. The final result probably was not quite as good as yours (it was a bit more beurre jaune than beurre blanc) but it was still very tasty!

  • 17 winebbler // Mar 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Just posted a hyperlink to this recipe on my blog. What a great post! Thanks for sharing. Bis, C. xx

  • 18 No. 2, et al. | winebbler // Mar 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    […] some up using your No. 2 for a really delicious vegetarian option. The sauce in this SugarLaws recipe–Buerre Blanc–is so Loire Valley. Cool fact: It was an accidentally invented by a female […]

  • 19 Denise // Dec 4, 2015 at 10:55 am

    I just saw your message on my blog. Thank you, thank you! Really, you’ve made my day! I rellay love your blog so I’m so flattered. I actually thought I already had you on my blog roll. Ooops there must have been a disconnect between thinking and doing! I’ve updated mine to include yours too.PS. I love asparagus. Will have to give this recipe a go!

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