Cold asparagus spears, dressed with sour cream, were a highlight of late-Victorian cuisine — perfect to honour the Queen and welcome the season.
- Portion size 12 servings
- 3 lbs asparagus (3 bunches)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 egg
Rinse asparagus in cold water and break off tough ends. Tie into 3 bundles with cotton string. In covered pan, cook bundles, tips up, in 3 inches (7 cm) boiling water for 8 to 12 minutes or until bottoms of stalks are tender. Rinse briefly under cold water to stop cooking; drain thoroughly on paper towels. Arrange on oval platter; cover and keep cool until serving time.
Dressing: In plastic container, blend together sour cream, salt, cayenne pepper, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar and sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning. Separate hard cooked egg yolks from white; chop each finely, wrap separately and keep them chilled.
To serve, pour dressing over asparagus, leaving tips and ends of stalks showing. Sprinkle a band each of white and yolk over dressing.