- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 2 x 350 g punnets asparagus spears
- 300 g leeks, thinly sliced lengthways
- white pepper, to taste
- lemon wedges, for serving
- For the Hollandaise:
- 2 T white wine vinegar
- 3 T cold water
- 3 free-range egg yolks
- 250 g clarified * butter
- ½ lemon, juiced
- salt, to taste
1. To make the crispy leeks, half-fill a medium-sized saucepan with oil and place over a medium heat.
2. While the oil is heating, make the Hollandaise. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and 2 T water. Cook over a high heat until reduced to 1 T. Remove from the heat and add the remaining water. Place in a bowl and add the egg yolks.
3. Using an electric beater, beat the mixture until thick and creamy. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Whisk in 1 T clarified butter at a time until well incorporated. When all the butter has been added, season with lemon juice and salt.
4. Char the asparagus in a hot pan until tender, this should take 10–15 minutes. While it is cooking, deep-fry the leeks until crispy and slightly caramelised, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
5. Season the asparagus and warm Hollandaise with white pepper, top with the crispy leeks and serve with the lemon.
Photograph: Myburgh Du Plessis
Food assistants: Bianca Strydom, Jarryd Thesen, Mogau Seshoene