The Danes celebrate midsummer night, the longest day of the year on the 23rd of June. It is the light they are celebrating. It gets light 3.00 in the morning and it doesn’t get dark, not really dark, until around midnight. This calls for a celebration and the Danes, young and old, flok to the beaches, parks, lakes and anyway there is water to celebrate the longest day. This is done in memory of the Church’s witchburnings of the 16th and 17th century. This is a tradition that stems from pagen times, showing the defeat of darkness to the powers of the sun god.
This year there might not be so many for bonfires, because it has been so hot, 85°F for more than a month, and no rain. It has been raining the last few days, but it may not be allowed to build a bonfire because of the danger of starting fires that could get out of control. However, the Danes love to invite friends and family and in general enjoy the special atmosphere of the long, cool evenings after a long winter when the days turn dark already at three in the afternoon. Many will be eating white asparagus because the Danish white asparagus as well as Danish green asparagus is soon over.
White Asparagus with Sabyonne Sauce and Baby Shrimp
8-12 jumbo white asparagus
sukker Sabayonne sauce:
1 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
½ cup white wine
1 tsp lemon zest
juice of ½ lemon
freshly ground white pepper
2-3 oz. baby shrimps
Garnish: chopped parsley
To make asparagus, peel from the head down. Cut or break the hard end of asparagus. Cook them let salted (½ tbsp.) and a little bit of sukker. Cover and cook asparagus 5-7 minutes depending on how thick they are. Take them up and plunge them into ice cold water to stop the cooking. As soon as they are cooled, remove them from the water to prevent them from losing flavor. Set aside and make the sauce.
To make sauce, whisk cream, æg yolks and white wine en a bowl that can fit into a pot filled with hot water. Using an el-handmixer, pisk the mixture 5 minutes, indtil the mixture is thick and creamy. Remove from the heat and set the bowl in ice cold water a few seconds. Season with salt and pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice .
To serve, come a large spoonful of sauce on 4 warmed plates and place 2-3 asparagus in the middle of the plate. Divide the shrimps over the asparagus and garnish with chopped parsley. Come the rest of the sauce in a bowl and let the guest take more sauce if they want.
Suggested accompaniment: flutes