Celebrating Asparagus

Updated: May 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
TO eat asparagus in various forms, take a trip down to The Rotisserie at The Oberoi, Mumbai, where Chef Christian Rose is serving the shoots in every which way. The Rotisserie has created a special Spargelkarte (White Asparagus Menu) with asparagus imported from Germany, and the festival will last until May 31, or till stocks last!

Asparagus is highly prized for its exquisitely subtle flavour, which also earns for it the title of ‘Queen of Vegetables’, says the blue-eyed Chef Rose. Its unique shoots, which resemble a ram’s horn, and succulent taste has made it popular as an aphrodisiac.

Cultivated under the earth to prevent the production of chlorophyll and harvested in the early morning dawn, the arrival of the first asparagus is a culinary celebration in Germany. At The Rotisserie, the Cappuccino Of Asparagus With Perigord Truffle (Rs 260 inclusive of taxes) is highly recommended.

It exudes a very light, fine, smooth taste. The Pancetta (ham) Wrapped Asparagus With Orange Mint Vinaigrette And Roguette Pesto (Rs 650) was also quite nice. Chef Rose recommends that asparagus be served with minimal dressing so that its natural taste can be enjoyed.

In the main course, the Prime Tenderloin And White Asparagus Sauce Bearnaise And Chateau Potatoes was a lovely combination with the juicy meat complementing the fine taste of the asparagus.

If there is one dish for which Chef Rose should be complimented, it is the Bundle Of Asparagus With Hollandaise Sauce And New Potatoes (Rs 950). Apparently, this is a classic favourite and the way a purist will eat his asparagus. Another traditional recipe is asparagus with hot butter and Parmesan shavings.

Skip the dessert so that the lovely flavour of the asparagus lingers in your mouth. Chef Rose rues that there is no dessert on the menu with asparagus. Well, not yet!