Asparagus, Brown Butter

by Mitch Orr

You'll need

  • 500ml still water
  • oil for frying
  • 200g white quinoa
  • agave/honey
  • salt
  • lemon juice
  • 400g butter
  • 250g skim milk powder
  • 1 bunch asparagus per person

Here's how

  1. Cook the quinoa in a large pot of boiling water. You need to overcook the quinoa a little until is completely soft. Strain the quinoa and spread it out over a tray. If you’re lucky enough to have a dehydrator dry the quinoa out, if not dry it out in a very low oven over night.
  2. Once completely dry the quinoa is ready to puff. Heat some oil in a heavy based pot until just below smoking point. Have a strainer and another pot ready. Add to quinoa to the hot oil and allow it to puff. It will only take a couple of seconds.
  3. Strain it into the other pot. Drain the quinoa on paper towel. Repeat the process until all the quinoa is puffed.
  4. For the brown butter puree: In a large heavy based pot place the butter. Let it start to melt over a medium high heat. Start to whisk in the skim milk powder. Keep stirring as the milk powder cooks and begins to brown. When it’s a nice dark caramel colour, turn off the heat, add a splash of lemon juice and strain the cooked milk powder through a fine chinois. Spread the powder out over some paper towel to drain an excess fat.
  5. Add the cooked powder to a high speed blender, turn the blender on low and slowly add the water. Gradually turn the speed up as you add more water. Once the powder starts to turn to a puree turn the speed up to high. Keep adding the water until the puree is a nice silky consistency. Allow the puree to blend for at least 5 minutes until completely smooth. Add lemon juice, salt and the agave or honey to taste.
  6. For the asparagus: trim the base of the asparagus and then lightly peel the bottom third of the asparagus.
  7. Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for 45 seconds. Place on a tray with paper towel and place straight in the fridge to cool.
  8. To serve: place a large dollop of the brown butter puree on a plate, cover it in the puffed quinoa. Shake off the excess quinoa. Place the asparagus next to the puree and dress with a little extra virgin olive oil and salt. Eat with your hands!

About the Author

Mitch Orr

Hold onto your twirling forks, spaghetti fans, Mitch Orr is back heading a kitchen and rolling dough for your sensual pleasure. Orr, best known for his Italianate work at 121BC, his pasta dégustation cameos at Buzo, and his less Italianate work as the co-head chef of Duke Bistro, is one of the... Read Full Bio

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