151. The Netherlands (Overijssel): White Asparagus with Ham, Eggs, and Buttersauce

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Overijssel is also sometimes called The Garden of The Netherlands because of all the beautiful nature that can be found there. Every region has its typical landscapes: In De Kop van Overijssel you can find a lot of lakes, Salland has hills and meadows and in Twente, you can find plenty of beautiful woods. Until the fifteenth century Overijssel was still called Oversticht. “Het Sticht” is the old name for the city of Utrecht. Which exercised power over a large area until the thirteenth century. Later the province was named Overijssel, by the people who spoke about the area on the other side of the river the IJssel.

Salland

Things you didn’t know about Overijssel:

  • In Raalte, the best white asparagus is harvested. They are used in the best kitchens in spring all over the country. Most asparagus farmers only sell asparagus straight from their farms. In the Netherlands, asparagus is called White Gold.
  • The Dutch “mountains” are located in Salland. For example The Friezenberg, Holterberg, Haarlerberg, Luttenberg, Hellendoornseberg and Lemelerberg.
  • The 46th best restaurant in the world is located in Zwolle! It’s called De Librije, and guess what they also work with the asparagus from Raalte. The chef is called Jonnie Boer and his wife Thérèse runs the front of the house.

My parents go mad over asparagus each year since it’s a product you can only eat in spring for a few months. They make a point of eating them as much as possible during the season. In all variations! with smoked salmon, with hollandaise sauce, in a salad, grilled on the BBQ, Italian style with tomatoes, basil and olives in the oven. While I am writing this, my mom called and asked me why I chose the traditional way. She expected me to experiment more, which I do a lot as chef at the restaurant. But to me some classics are not to be messed with, some of them are classics for a reason because they best complement the dish!

Ingredients

  • White asparagus
  • Vegetable stock (it’s ok if it’s front a stockcube)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Butter
  • Capers
  • Thin slices of ham
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Cooked potatoes

Method

  1. Peel your asparagus
  2. Bring vegetable stock to a boil with 1 tablespoon of butter.
  3. Add you asparagus to your veggiestock and cook for 7 minutes, turn of the fire and leave the asparagus in the pan for 10 minutes.
  4. Melt the butter in a pan with the capers. Until the butter is brown and kind of smell nutty. But don’t let it burn. So keep an eye on it
  5. Chop your herbs and ham. Crumble your eggs.
  6. Enjoy!!!!!

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