bay-leaf, thyme, and salt, and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Drain the asparagus well, cut off the points and the edible parts of the stalks, and keep them hot. Strain the milk and return it to the stewpan, add the butter and flour previously kneaded together, and stir until a smooth sauce is obtained. Beat the yolks of eggs slightly, add them to the sauce, and stir until they thicken, but do not allow the sauce to boil, or the yolks may curdle. Season to taste, and add the lemon-juice. Pile the asparagus on the croûtes, cover with sauce, garnish with strips of cucumber, and a little chopped parsley, and serve as a vegetable entremet, or as an entrée for a vegetarian dinner.
Time.—From 30 to 40 minutes. Average Cost, 5s. 6d. to 7s. Seasonable from April to July.
Medicinial uses of Asparagus.—Not only is this plant valuable as a wholesome and nutritious vegetable, but it posses diuretic properties, due to the presence of a crystalline substance, which is also found in the potato and lettuce. The chemical analysis of its juice shows the presence of a peculiar crystallizable principle called asparagin, albumen, mannite, malic acid, and certain salts. The cellular tissue contains a substance analogous to sago.
1447.—ASPARAGUS, INDIAN STYLE. (Fr.—Asperges à l'Indienne.)
Ingredients.—Asparagus, curry sauce (see Sauces, 241).
Method.—Prepare, cook and drain asparagus (see Asparagus, Boiled), serve with a little curry sauce, either poured over the points, or handed round separately.
1448.—ASPARAGUS POINTS, OR PEAS. (Fr.—Pointes d'Asperges.)
Ingredients.—Green asparagus, oiled butter, pepper.
Method.—Cut the points and the tender green parts of the asparagus into short pieces, place them in slightly-salted boiling water, and cook gently from 5 to 10 minutes, according to size and age. Drain well, put the asparagus into a stewpan containing a little oiled butter, sprinkle with pepper, toss over the fire for a few minutes, then serve either as a garnish or vegetable. It is a mistake to add anything that will impair the delicate flavour of the asparagus, but sometimes a little chopped shallot and parsley are fried in the butter before putting in the asparagus; and the dish may be still further varied by stirring in, just before serving, tablespoonfuls of good white sauce, or 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of thick cream and a yolk of egg.
Time.—To boil the asparagus, from 15 to 20 minutes. Average Cost, 2s. 6d. to 10s. 6d. per 100. Allow 100 points for 6 or 8 persons. Seasonable from April to July; obtainable from January.
1449.—ASPARAGUS PUDDING. (Fr.—Pouding d'Asperges.)
Ingredients.—¼ of a pint of asparagus points, 4 eggs, 2 tablespoonfuls