Salad of Wild Asparagus and Smoked Foie Gras with Cherries and Summer Truffles
Chef John Besh of Restaurant August – New Orleans, LA
Adapted by

Yield: 6 Servings


    Foie Gras Cure:
  • 8 grams kosher salt
  • 2 grams sugar
  • 1 gram white pepper
  • 1 gram sel rosé (or substitute tinted curing mixture)
  • 10 rasps nutmeg

    Terrine of Smoked Hudson Valley Foie Gras (Yields enough for 12 servings)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup dried sour cherries (seedless)
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

    Cherry Compote:
  • 3½ ounces sudachi juice*
  • 5 ounces dashi soy sauce*
  • 1 ounce mirin*
  • ½ teaspoon corn starch

    White Asparagus Salad:
  • 1 gallon boiling water
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 12 stalks white asparagus, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar (seasoned)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 cup diced, peeled, seeded tomato fillet
  • 1 summer truffle, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot

  • Fresh chervil

For Foie Gras Cure:
Mix all ingredients. Set aside.

For Terrine of Smoked Hudson Valley Foie Gras:
Remove the veins from the foie gras while allowing it to break into smaller (1½-inch cubed) pieces. Season with foie gras cure and Armagnac. Place the mixture in a cool place and allow to marinate for approximately 1 hour. Place foie gras into a pie pan or shallow ceramic container. Place container into a 400ºF smoker that is rich with hardwood smoke for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. At this point, place the foie gras into a terrine mold sprayed with vegetable oil and lined with plastic wrap. Allow to cool; then refrigerate while covered for 1 or 2 days before use. To remove from the terrine, flip the terrine upside down and ease the foie gras out by tugging on the edges of the plastic wrap.

Any barbecue style smoker set up will work. I like to use pecan, hickory or oak chips. Feel free to use any type of hardwood chip that are available. The end result is a good rich smoke that will impart its sweet flavor into the foie gras.

For Cherry Compote:
Pour the boiling water over the cherries and add in the brandy and lemon juice. Let the cherries soak for one hour. Before pureeing, remove juice and reserve it on the side. The puree should be pasty and pliable.

For White Asparagus Salad:
Bring the water to a boil with the sugar, salt, and lemon juice and drop in the asparagus; cook over low heat. When the asparagus is cooked, it should point at a 90º angle when held by the tip. Cool the asparagus in ice and the poaching liquid to retain the flavor. Immediately remove from the ice once chilled and dry on paper towels; slice into 1-inch pieces on a bias. In a small bowl combine the oil and vinegar and season with a pinch each of sugar and salt; whisk until combined. Add in the sliced asparagus pieces, chives, diced tomatoes, truffle slices and shallot. Toss to combine and adjust the salt to taste.

To Assemble and Serve:
Slice the foie gras terrine into ½ inch slices and place on the left side of a large chilled plate, on the other side of the plate portion out the white asparagus salad and garnish with fresh chervil. Above the terrine place a quenelle of the cherry puree.


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   Published: May 2006