This mildly flavoured dish of white asparagus and bechamel sauce gets special aroma from the fresh basil.
2 people made this
2kg white asparagus
1 medium onion, chopped
50g plain flour
500ml hot milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 small bunch fresh basil
Method Prep:20min › Cook:15min › Ready in:35min
Peel the asparagus with a vegetable peeler from top to bottom, starting below the tips. Cut off any woody ends with a knife. Place the asparagus in a large wide pan and add 500ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the stems are tender and can be easily pierced with a sharp knife, about 15 to 25 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Remove asparagus and drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook until translucent; do not let it brown. Add the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often, until lightly coloured.
Whisk in the hot milk and let it come to the boil. Continue whisking and add the reserved cooking liquid, a little at a time, until you have a thick sauce. Add salt, pepper, bay leaf and nutmeg. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking every so often and scraping over the bottom of the pan to prevent it from sticking. Chop the basil and stir it into the sauce.