This asparagus sauce is my favourite accompaniment to fish. It is delicately flavoured with fresh tarragon and works really well with pretty much any white fish. Today’s treat from Ashton’s was that most highly prized fish – Turbot – which I have never, ever eaten and which I’m happy to report was absolutely delicious. It’s an extremely firm, white flatfish that was very easy to pan fry. I served today’s fillets with some crushed new potatoes, (mixed with a chopped spring onion and some olive oil), and some seared asparagus.
Sauce ingredients (makes enough for 4 people):
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2 cm chunks (all of it, even the woody bits)
1 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped OR 2 shallots, finely chopped
500ml fish stock (cube is fine)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
single cream (optional)
Gently heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the shallot/ onion. Fry very gently until soft but not browned. Add the asparagus and continue to fry for 5 minutes. Add the stock, tarragon and season well. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes until the asparagus is tender.
Pour the whole lot into a blender and process until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a small saucepan.
When ready to cook, reheat gently, adding single cream if you like, until the desired consistency is achieved.
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the seasoned turbot fillets for 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through and serve immediately.