Grilled Asparagus with a Tarragon Cream Sauce – French Style

I love asparagus, especially asparagus that is pan seared, roasted or grilled. When “charred” just a little, the asparagus takes on a whole new dimension of smoky flavor. I love cream based sauces – so rich and decadent. I adore the wonderful licorice flavor that tarragon imparts. So this recipe was perfect – bringing all those marvelous flavors together in one sinfully yummy side dish.

Grilled Asparagus in a Tarragon Cream Sauce (French Style)
Ingredients – Grilled Asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 lb green asparagus
Kosher Salt, to taste

Ingredients – Tarragon Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
3 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh tarragon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

FOR ASPARAGUS: In a small bowl, whisk oil, lemon juice and garlic. Let sit for 30 minutes for flavors to marry. Trim asparagus, drizzle with a flavored olive oil such as Basil. Place in a single layer on a broiler pan. Place under broiler, about 3 inches from heat source. Grill-broil for about 10 minutes, turning once midway through.

FOR TARRAGON CREAM SAUCE: In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add the shallot and lemon juice to the pan and cook the mixture for an additional 3 minutes. Stir the flour into the mushrooms until completely incorporated, and then add the chicken broth, stirring until the sauce becomes smooth and thicken slightly. Stir in the heavy cream, tarragon, and nutmeg, and then heat through. (Do not allow the sauce to simmer) Once the sauce is heated, remove it from the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.

The asparagus can either be served “naked” with the sauce on the side for personal tastes or platted with the sauce poured over the beautiful green stalks.

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