Mousseline sauce, so named after the delicate texture of muslin, is an egg-based French sauce traditionally also made with cream. It is best served with equally delicate foods, such as asparagus and fish. Similar to hollandaise sauce, this recipe skips the cream but uses confit orange to add a citrus flavour.
- 40 g butter
- 6 fresh verveine or vervaine tea leaf (see Note), plus extra to garnish
- 5-6 large asparagus spears
- 1 bergamot confit orange, with its juices. Plus extra to garnish
- 2 egg yolks
- salt and green Szechuan pepper
- white bourrache flowers, to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Infusing time overnight
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
Cut butter into cubes and place in a bowl. Add the verveine and chill for 1 day. Heat in a saucepan on medium heat, until melted. Turn the heat off, cover with a lid then allow the flavours to infuse overnight at room temperature.
To prepare asparagus, place on a board. Peel to remove all green skin. Test the ends of each spear by bending gently, and break at a length where it snaps easily.
Tie asparagus together so they don’t snap when blanching, and place upright in a tin to keep straight. Add to simmering water for 4 minutes, then refresh in iced water.
In a small saucepan, add 2 tbsp confit orange juice, ¼ chopped confit orange and 2 egg yolks then place over low heat. Using a hand blender, carefully blend the ingredients together then slowly add ½ cup of the infused butter to make a nice smooth mousseline sauce. Season with green Szechuan pepper and a pinch of salt.
Heat 1 tsp of butter in a frying pan over high heat. Sauté asparagus for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Season with a pinch of salt.
Place asparagus on a plate and spoon over mousseline sauce. Garnish with flowers, extra fresh vervaine and extra confit orange as garnish.
• Fresh verveine is a bright lemongrass, basil and lemon-scented a grass-type leaf.