Break the asparagus to remove the tough stem and then peel the remaining stalk. Keep the tip intact.
To cook the asparagus: Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and then add the peeled asparagus. Blanch for 2-4 minutes until the asparagus are tender but still have a bit of crunch in the centre.
2For the Hollandaise sauce:
Firstly clarify the butter. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat to allow the milk solids to separate from the fat. Skim off any foam that comes to the surface and then pour the clear clarified butter into a container, leaving the milk solids in the pan.
Peel and finely chop the shallot. Place in a saucepan with the white wine, thyme and white wine vinegar. Reduce over a medium heat and reduce until you have approximately 100ml of liquid. Pass through a fine sieve.
Place the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl, add the white wine reduction and season with salt. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk vigorously until you have a fluffy sabayon. Cook until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage. Remove from the heat and whisk in the clarified butter a little at a time. Check the seasoning and add a couple of drops of lemon juice. Keep warm.
Season the asparagus with Maldon sea salt and serve with the Hollandaise sauce.
« Keep the pieces of asparagus stalk and peelings that you remove to make an asparagus soup. »