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Recipe: Grilled White Asparagus with Almonds, Anchovy and Lime

Chef Greg Proechel of Ferris shares a recipe for this spring dish.
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For those fully engrossed in the New York City dining scene, Ferris seems to be one of the newer restaurants on a lot of people's minds. In keeping with the menu's seasonality, chef Greg Proechel recently added a bevy of new dishes to highlight the best of what's available, such as snap peas with clams, pickled Asian pears, Sichuan fermented black beans and onigiri.

Another new item features grilled asparagus with pickled green almonds, fried baby anchovies and lime. Large stalks of white asparagus, about the thickness of your thumb, are first blanched to cook through and then grilled for a nice char. They get topped with a pickled green almond relish, emulsified house-made almond milk, lime, and some fried anchovies. (Proechel notes that dried anchovies can be found in most Asian grocery stores.) The season for white asparagus typically ends in a few weeks, so you'll want to make this recipe soon if you aren't able to visit Ferris for Proechel and his team to prepare it for you.

MORE: Small Spaces, Big Flavor: Greg Proechel's Affinity for Compact Kitchen Quarters

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Grilled White Asparagus with Almonds, Anchovy and Lime

Recipe courtesy of chef Greg Proechel, Ferris, New York City

Ingredients

2 stalks white asparagus, peeled and kept in acidulated water

Kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 lemon
1/4 cup fresh green almonds
White balsamic, for pickling
Olive oil
Lime juice and zest
Sea salt
Emulsified Almond Milk (recipe below)
1/4 cup dried anchovies, fried at 350˚F for 10 seconds
5 nasturtium leaves
1 nasturtium flower

Method

1. Blanch the peeled asparagus in lightly salted water with the butter and lemon until it's still very firm but crunchy when you poke it with a cake tester or toothpick, about 4 minutes. Remove from the water, shock quickly until cold and then remove to the refrigerator.

2. Cut up the green almonds and divide in half. Cover half of them with white balsamic vinegar for 30 minutes to give it a slightly pickled flavor. Drain the vinegar, combine with the remaining almonds and cover in olive oil to make a relish. Reserve.

3. Grill the asparagus until nicely charred. Remove from the grill, season with some lime juice and sea salt, and place on the plate.

4. Cover liberally with some of the Emulsified Almond Milk and green almond relish.

5. Top with some lime zest, the fried anchovies, nasturtium leaves and flowe, and a light pinch of crunchy sea salt.


Emulsified Almond Milk

Ingredients

150 grams almonds, slivered and blanched
700 grams organic whole milk
25 grams toasted almond oil

Method

Toast the almonds in a 350˚F until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the toasted almonds to a pot with the milk, bring to the simmer and let simmer for 2 minutes, being careful not to scorch it. Remove from the heat, cover with plastic and let steep for 30 minutes at room temperature. Strain into a blender and emulsify the almond oil into the milk; cool over an ice bath.

Photos by Aaron Hutcherson.

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