ASPARAGUS LOVERS – SAVE THE DATE: SUNDAY 2 JUNE
ASPARAGUS: SPRINGTIME ON A PLATE
The asparagus season is short – so from the end of March to the end of June we’re making the most of this delightful vegetable. Asparagus à la Flamande is one of 10 classic Flemish recipes. White asparagus, a speciality of the Limburg embankment foreland of Maaskant, has a very fine flavour. The green variety has a stronger smell and a more intensive taste. Whether white or green, it is essential to use the right saucepan to allow the aroma of these vegetables rich in vitamins A, B, C and important minerals to properly develop. Only a special asparagus saucepan guarantees the vegetable cooks in an upright position, keeping the heads out of the water. Well peeled and cooked for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on diameter, the low-calorie plant will reveal its enticing aroma.
The asparagus was first mentioned 7,000 years ago by the Egyptians. It was also extremely popular with the Romans – primarily due to its healing power. The Romans appreciated the so-called ‘pearls of the earth’ as remedies for bee stings, heart problems, dizziness and toothache. Furthermore, the vegetable has a diuretic and laxative effect. The proteinogenic amino acid L-asparagine is one of the most important elements of the asparagus. L-asparagine stimulates kidney function and is effective against low blood pressure, rheumatism and gout. Unfortunately, the healing plant was forgotten after the collapse of the Roman Empire. Luckily, the Moors brought them to Spain in the Middle Ages and they finally ended up on our plates.
International lock cruise
Ship ahoy! Between 12 and 12.30pm, it’s all aboard the MS Jekervallei at the Oud-Rekem port (Lanaken), the ‘prettiest village in Flanders’. After an atmospheric reception, the captain will give his start signal and the MS Jekervallei will set sail. Along the Belgian and Dutch Limburg rivers, through the wonderful town of Maastricht and passing directly through one of the highlights of the river cruise: the Ternaaien lock, where the vessel has to negotiate a height difference of 15 metres.
At around 4.40pm, it’s finally time to drop the anchor back at the Oud-Rekem port. During the cruise, prepare to be indulged in the ship’s restaurant and on the sun deck by the La Butte aux Bois team run by Maître Kevin Vondenhoff. Head chef Sander Roos will be serving up a magnificent 4-course lunch full of asparagus, otherwise known as ‘Limburg gold’. Water, sunshine and culinary delights… experience an unforgettable Sunday on board the MS Jekervallei!
Note: limited number of participants – please sign up by 1 May 2019!
We have organised a shuttle service for our hotel guests back from Oud-Rekem.
A parade of amuse
Pinot Brut Méthode Traditionelle –
Wijndomein Aldeneyck, Maasvallei, 2015
Basil cream| Strained yoghurt| Gazpacho | Brioche
The Ladybird Chenin Blanc – Laibach, Stellenbosch, 2017
Asparagus à la Flamande ‘La Butte-style’
LiVar | Poached egg | Farmer’s butter| Fresh parsley
Pinot Gris – Wijndomein Aldeneyck, Maasvallei, 2017
Duo of veal
Limburg asparagus | Puffball mushrooms| Fried potatoes
Château La Gasparde – Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux, 2011
Strawberries and elderflowers
Yoghurt sorbet| White chocolate | Rhubarb
Tokaji Late Harvest – Château Pajzos, 2015
Espresso with sweets
Price: €135 pp including aperitif, water and coffee on board
Children: €4.50 x child’s age (children under 15) including soft drink