Gastronomixs

Asparagus, elderflower, and nettle

The guest chef for July is Paul Ivić. Paul is head chef at the vegetarian restaurant Tian* in Vienna, Austria. Flavour always comes first for Paul. This starts with the basic ingredients. He believes that organically-grown ingredients are much tastier and of better quality than conventionally-grown ingredients. The organic ingredients have been paid more attention during production, and have taken longer to develop their flavour, and these factors make the final product even better. He works closely with small-scale farmers and producers in Austria who supply exclusively organic produce.

The Michelin star he was awarded in 2014 was not the ultimate goal. In Paul's view, the Michelin star shows that vegetarian cuisine is so much more than just boring salads. Tian has now been expanded with the addition of a high-end restaurant in Munich and a more accessible bistro in Vienna. Paul shared three of his vegetarian dishes with us.

Creation by Paul Ivić, Tian, Vienna, Austria

Asparagus, elderflower, and nettle

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Ingredients

500

ml

white wine vinegar

5

umbels

elderflowers

600

ml

water

130

ml

elderflower vinegar

30

g

sugar

5

g

salt

7

g

agar-agar

50

g

textur

150

g

nettle sprouts

700

ml

juice from roasted green asparagus

100

g

nettle paste

As needed:

 

elderflower vinegar

As needed

 

xanthan gum

 

 

salt

7

spears

white asparagus, peeled

300

g

butter

200

g

vegetable stock

20

g

elderflower vinegar

As needed:

 

sugar

 

 

salt

5

umbels

elderflowers

 

 

salt

100

ml

water

100

ml

elderflower vinegar

As needed:

 

green herbs

Preparation method: elderflower vinegar
  • Infuse the flowers and vinegar together a closed container at room temperature for about six days to draw out the flavour.
  • Strain the vinegar through a cheesecloth.
Preparation method: elderflower vinegar gel
  • Combine the water, sugar, and salt and bring them to the boil.
  • Add the elderflower vinegar and agar-agar.
  • Allow to cool and set.
  • Puree and stir in the textur.
  • Fill a piping bag with the mixture.
  • Keep refrigerated.
Preparation method: nettle paste
  • Blanch half of the young nettle sprouts and squeeze lightly.
  • Mix with the other raw half and fill a Paco jet cup with the mixture.
  • Mix in the Paco jet at least five times. 
Preparation method: asparagus and nettle sauce
  • Mix the asparagus juice with nettle paste, and add salt and elderflower vinegar to taste.
  • Strain the mixture.
  • Thicken the sauce with xanthan gum and allow to come up to room temperature. 
Preparation method: asparagus
  • Coat six spears of peeled asparagus lightly with salt, cover and cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 160°C.
  • Make an emulsion using the vegetable stock, butter, and elderflower vinegar and add salt and sugar to taste.
  • Keep the emulsion and cooked asparagus cool in the emulsion until further use.
  • Cut the crown off the remaining spear of asparagus and brunoise the asparagus.
Preparation method: pickled elderflower buds
  • Salt the elderflower umbels and leave for 12 hours.
  • Combine the water and vinegar and bring them to the boil. Then leave to cool.
  • Rinse the elderflower buds and put them into the elderflower vinegar water.
Finishing and presentation
  • Warm up the asparagus in the emulsion.
  • Lay the asparagus spears sideways on the plate.
  • Add the brunoise diced asparagus.
  • Garnish with pickled elderflower buds and green herbs.
  • Finish the dish with the asparagus nettle sauce.

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