White asparagus with parmigiano cream
One ingredient again that is not that easily found in Japan and that you can find everywhere at farmers markets in France at this time of the year: white asparagus! Indeed, in Japan green asparagus are quite common but white are rather rare and most of the time imported, so I never buy some. But in France in spring it is really common.
One recipe I love that I tried when eating at Thoumieux (not the Brasserie, the Hotel Thoumieux restaurant) and prepared by chef Jean-Francois Piege, was white asparagus with just melted comte cheese. The dish was normally served with black truffle (a common pairing with white asparagus), which I don't like so mine didn't have it. And the balance between the creamy asparagus and the salty cheese was perfect. I really loved it. But white asparagus also go very well with creamy sauce. I had a delicious combination at Piere in Osaka the other day. But my mother had her own recipe that she taught me. Very simple, and a good combination: parmegiano cream! For that she first clean the asparagus and peel them, removing the hardest parts. Then simply steam them. In a little pan she warm some cream and add gratted parmegiano, about 1tbs per person. Once the parmegiano has melted she serves on the hot asparagus. Add a little bit of black pepper for the color if you want.
Now I am back to Paris, and hotel life so no more cooking in the next days..