Asparagus with a Tarragon Beurre Blanc

Asparagus With A Tarragon Beurre Blanc


Dress up asparagus with this luxurious tarragon butter sauce.
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Views: 39,864
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Beurre Blanc

Making the Beurre Blanc
  • 1 tbsp shallots
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 8 tbsp unsalted, cold butter
  • lemon juice (to finish)
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • white pepper (to taste)


Before preparing the sauce, cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces and keep cold in the refrigerator.

To prepare the beurre blanc, first mince the shallots. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the shallots and the wine. Reduce the liquid by about two-thirds until it reaches a syrupy consistency.

Turn the heat to the lowest setting and whisk in the cold butter one piece at a time to slowly form the emulsion.

Once all of the butter has been incorporated, season with salt and pepper to taste. You may want to add a few drops of lemon juice to brighten the flavor of the sauce.

Monitor the sauce closely while you cook the asparagus. Keep the sauce warm to the touch and whisk often to prevent it from splitting. You may need to turn the heat off and on to keep it at the correct temperature. The heat does not always need to be on, as the residual heat from the pan will keep it warm.

Step 2: Prepping and Serving the Asparagus

Prepping and Serving the Asparagus
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon


First wash the asparagus and then cut the tough ends off.

Before cooking the asparagus, chop the tarragon and set aside.

To cook the asparagus, briefly steam it for about 2 minutes until just tender. Transfer to a plate.

Whisk the chopped tarragon into the sauce. Pour over top and serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

Many vegetables pair well with beurre blanc. Try it over carrots, artichokes, green beans, fennel, mushrooms, or potatoes. This sauce would also be delicious over things such as chicken, crab, eggs dishes, fish, lobster, mussels and veal.


  • Cecil J
    Cecil J
    When I reduce the white wine in a small heavy-bottom stainless stell saucepan over medium-high heat it never reaches a "syrupy consistency." Instead, it remains at the same viscosity. Any idea what's the problem is?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Hi Cecil, As long as you reduce the white wine (acid) by at least two-thirds, you'll be good to go. The reduction doesn't technically have to be "syrupy"...the gastride just needs to be reduced enough to concentrate the flavors and to ensure the sauce isn't too thin in the end. As shown in the video, you can even reduce the gastride to a state referred to as "au sec" (dry). So, there is no problem - as long as you reduce sufficiently, you'll be able to make beurre blanc. Hope this helps!
  • Peter H
    Peter H
    i noticed in the video that the gastride isn't syrupy either even though they use that moniker. it's just reduced. when i made the buerre blanc it was thicker than in the video. is that because i didn't use high enough heat? thank you
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Don't turn up the heat - you'll split the sauce. Watch Topic 4 again - the sauce can be thinned out with a bit of water, heavy cream or any other suitable liquid. Cheers!
  • Mona K
    Mona K
    In this and other sauces, must wine be used? Can I subsitute broth or stock?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Generally, other things can be substituted for the wine. You may want to watch the lessons on How to Make Beurre Blanc (if you haven't already) and also the How to Make a Pan Sauce lesson as there is more about this in those lessons. Cheers!
  • Kathy H
    Kathy H
    I was looking for a recipe with Hollandaise, which by the way is not included in your sauce section. Neither is the other mother sauce, Espagnole. How come?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Rest assured, Hollandaise is in the are many many other lessons. At the moment, we are trying to get through a few other categories. I guess that is the fun of teaching and learning to never ends! Stay tuned, Hollandaise will be covered. Cheers!
  • Rick P
    Rick P
    I guess a beurre blanc based sauce is intended for white as opposed to red meats. Am I correct? I once had pork chops with mushroom sauce in a restraunt and it was delicious. I think it may have contained a hint of brandy. What would be used as a base to make a mushroom sauce please? Rick
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    You may want to watch the lesson on Beurre Blanc as there is quite a bit of information in there regarding what it is usually served with etc. As for the mushroom sauce that you had it is hard to say what the base might have been. It was likely a cream sauce or even a stock based sauce. For more information on Sauces you may want to take the Pan Sauce lesson in the Cooking School. In fact, there is even a practice recipe that is a mushroom based sauce. Cheers!
  • Rosie G
    Rosie G
    That was amazing! It was my first time to make a butter sauce. It was a lot easier than I expected and tasted absolutely amazing! I could have dranken it! This is definitely a sauce to be repeated!
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    Just tried this, and was successful in making a beautiful and tasty buerre blanc. However, the steamed asparagus was obviously still damp (and hot) and so when I spooned the buerre blanc on top, it became much too thin and watery. Should I be cooling and drying the asparagus before adding the buerre blanc to it?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    It wouldn't hurt to pat the asparagus gently with some paper towel to remove the excess moisture once it comes out of the steamer. It's not necessary to completely cool the asparagus, but don't spoon the sauce over it when it is piping hot; otherwise, the beurre blanc can potentially split. Nice work on the sauce! Cheers!
  • Joel  D
    Joel D
    I was jus wondering how much weight is 1 tbsp of butter to grams?
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    I am glad you asked this question. Suddenly I realized how much easier it would be to be measuring butter by weight, than by volume. It led me to the following website which provides every imaginable combination of butter weight/volume conversion. According to this converter: 1 Tbsp butter = 14.18 grams
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    You can also calculate it manually using the following: 1 lb = 454 grams 1 lb butter = 32 Tbsp 454/32 - 14.18 grams/Tbsp
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Hi Leigh, you are correct that 1 tbsp of butter weighs precisely 14.18 grams; however, for quick and easy reference, a small measurement such as this is often rounded up to 15 grams; so, if you see a recipe, for example, that states 2 tablespoons butter, and if you choose to weigh it, you can weigh 30 grams of butter. Technically, you could weigh 28.36 grams (or 29); however, most scales only have 1-gram increments. Cheers!

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