South Tyrol is not only famous for wine and Kaminwurzen but also its asparagus, which thrives here. The area between Terlano, Settequerce and Vilpiano in the Adige Valley near Bolzano is even known as the "asparagus triangle".
What makes the tender vegetable tips so popular? It might be because it is the quintessential seasonal vegetable, best enjoyed in April and May, or perhaps because the young shoots must be hand-picked by those who harvest them.
Probably the best-known dish is boiled asparagus with Hollandaise or Béarnaise sauce. The South Tyrol offers a great variation on this classic with Bolzano sauce.
For four people, take about 1 kg of white asparagus, peel and put in a pan with water. Add some butter, white wine and sugar, salt, ground white pepper, lemon juice and a slice of white bread. First bring to the boil on maximum heat without a lid, then simmer for about 20 minutes.
For the sauce, peel two hard-boiled eggs and separate the whites from the yolks. Press the yolks through a sieve and mix with two tbsp of stock or cooking water from the asparagus, one tsp mustard and some lemon juice. Slowly stir in 150 ml oil as for mayonnaise. Stir in the chopped egg white, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chives.
Serve the asparagus with the Bolzano sauce, buttered potatoes and finely sliced ham. Accompany with a glass of South Tyrolean Pinot Blanc for a delicious and light way to enjoy spring!
The Plunhof is set to reopen on 13th May and we can't wait to welcome you and serve you with delicious meals ourselves!
Until then, good luck with your cooking!