ASPARAGUS WITH HERB SAUCE – – green asparagus (trimmed and rinsed, 500g), For the sauce:: cloves garlic (green germ removed), small (spring onions (or 3 scallions, the white part and about 1-inch (2.5cm) of the green), trimmed and cut into quarters), Scant ½fine sea salt, flat-leaf parsley leaves (loosely packed, 10g), large egg, ¼ extra-virgin olive oil (60ml), Freshly ground black pepper, To garnish:: thin slices air-cured ham (cut¼-inch crosswise strips), Prepare a cooling rack covered with a cotton tea towel. Bring 3 cups water and the lemon to a boil in the bottom half of a steamer.; Reduce the heat under the water to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Increase the heat again to medium-high so the water returns to the boil, and lay the asparagus in the top of the steamer. Cover and steam until the asparagus is al dente, which will take anywhere from about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.; When the asparagus is tender, remove it from the steamer and lay it in a single layer on the prepared cooling rack.; To make the sauce, place the garlic, the onion, and the salt in a mortar and pestle, and grind the mixture until it is quite smooth. Add the parsley leaves and process until the mixture forms a paste. Mix in the egg, then slowly, slowly add the oil and mix until you have a thick sauce. Season to taste, and reserve.; To serve, arrange equal amounts of the asparagus in the center of four plates. Pour equal amounts of the sauce over the asparagus, and garnish with the ham slices and an herb leaf. Serve immediately.; – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]
In the 14th century, a pound of nutmeg was purportedly worth three sheep and a cow; in the 17th century, the little, fragrant nut was valued higher than gold.