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This month’s guest chef specialises in local dishes with a modern twist.

Innovative creations and pure flavours represent the original style of Dutch Chef, Bas Holten, at the Château Les Merles.  Using seasonal products, which are mainly grown in the Château’s own vegetable garden, he strives for the perfect balance on and off the plate.

Asparagus with smoked salmon and beetroot caviar

For 4 persons:

4 White asparagus

20 gr Butter

50 gr Barley

200 ml Fermented beetroot juice

200 gr Smoked salmon

12 Small salad leaves from the core of a lettuce

Salt

Vinaigrette:

1 part Mustard

3 parts Vinegar

5 parts Sunflower oil

Pepper and salt

Method:

Peel the asparagus and cut the tough ends off. Cook them for 2 minutes in water with butter and some salt. Turn off the heat and let the asparagus cool down in the cooking liquid.

For the beetroot caviar slowly cook the barley in the beetroot juice for approximately 20 minutes. If there’s not enough liquid add a little water. Drain and season with salt.

Mix the ingredients for the vinaigrette. You can “spice up” the vinaigrette with garlic, fresh herbs or shallots. Season the salad leaves with a little vinaigrette.

Presentation:

Cut the asparagus in 5 pieces and dress them on a plate. Cut the salmon in slices and add to the plate. Finish with the beetroot caviar and the salad leaves seasoned with the vinaigrette.

The Les Merles restaurant is located in the courtyard of the luxury 4-star Hotel Château les Merles and is surrounded by nature, yet still close to Bergerac.   Enjoy a candle lit courtyard dinner in the summer, or a fireplace setting in winter.   Next to the restaurant and hotel, Les Merles also offers rental villas, a bistro and a 9-hole golf course.

www.lesmerles.com

First published in the May/June 2019 issue of The Local Buzz

Images: Chateau les Merles