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Asparagus Mousse

When I put together a recipe for this light vegetable mousse, I wanted the asparagus flavor to be strong, recognizable, and honest. I omitted one of the most common ingredients of savory mousses (mayonaise), added a splash of vinegar to brighten the dish, and let my all-time favorite vegetable shine through.

For about 3/4 cup, you'll need:

+ fresh asparagus*, one bundle
+ white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons
+ 1 egg white
+ heavy cream, 1/4 cup
+ S&P

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Whip cream until thick; refrigerate both until needed.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, trim the asparagus of their woody ends and cut the remaining portion into 1 - 1 1/2" segments. Blanch until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Drain.

Puree cooked asparagus in a food processor. Add vinegar; lightly salt and pepper. Remove; cool.

Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the asparagus puree, to lighten the mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites and the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I served this mousse as an amuse-bouche in a Chinese spoon, and garnished each with a disc of Parmesan "Lace" and a tip of roasted asparagus. Enjoy!

* I brought home a pack of beautiful, purple asparagus just for this purpose. They went into the pot a lovely deep purple, and came out ... green. I'd stick to white or standard green asparagus for this recipe!

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