Spaniards love their white aspargus, you will find them in salads all over Spain but they are also the perfect centre piece for this recipe. Canned asparagus from Navarra, in northern Spain, and of this quality are traditionally picked under the cover of darkness to ensure they are not exposed to sunlight and photosynthesis.
This recipe was taken from José Andrés´s ¨Vegetables Unleashed¨cookbook, which puts a great spotlight on the importance of vegetables in Spanish cooking.
1 can of White Asparagus Catedral de Navarra (345g) (Reserve the liquid from the can)
1 & 1/4 cups heavy cream
175g of Manchego cheese, grated.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the canned asparagus on some paper towels to absorb any excess liquid and refrigerate until chilled.
Bring the cream to a boil and reduce by half (about 10 minutes). Add the reserved asparagus liquid and simmer for an aditional 2 minutes.
Combine the cream mixture with the grated cheese in a blender and blend until smooth. You can serve this sauce as it is, hot, or refrigerate and chill for use at a later time. Season with salt and a good grinding of black pepper.
To serve, place asparagus on a plate and spoon over the delicious Manchego cream sauce. Finish with more pepper and some thin shavings of Manchego (or parmasan) cheese.
Jose Andrés suggests using the leftover (as you will have quite a bit) for pouring over broccoli or cauliflower and baking until golden all over.