Asparagus in the Flemish Manner Recipe - Vegetarian Dish from Belgium

Asparagus in the Flemish Manner

Asparagus in the Flemish Manner Recipe - Vegetarian Dish from Belgium
Region / culture: Belgium | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Asparagus in the Flemish Manner
Asparagus in the Flemish Manner

Asparagus in the Flemish Manner is a classic dish that showcases the delicate flavor of asparagus, complemented by the richness of butter and the contrasting textures of hard-boiled eggs. This dish is a celebration of spring, when asparagus is at its peak, and is a testament to the simplicity and elegance of Flemish cuisine. It's a recipe that combines minimal ingredients to create a dish that is both comforting and sophisticated, making it perfect for both casual family dinners and more formal gatherings.


The tradition of serving asparagus with eggs and butter has deep roots in Flemish cuisine, dating back to the Middle Ages. This combination was initially a luxury, enjoyed by the upper echelons of society due to the seasonal and regional limitations of asparagus cultivation. Over time, as agricultural practices evolved and asparagus became more widely available, this dish became a beloved springtime tradition in Flemish households. Its simplicity, reliance on fresh, seasonal ingredients, and the perfect balance of flavors have made it a timeless classic.


How to prepare

  1. Boil 8 cups of lightly salted water.
  2. Add the asparagus and cook for about 20 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, hard-boil the eggs.
  4. Mash the yolks and the egg whites separately.
  5. Mince the parsley.
  6. Melt the butter and serve in a preheated sauce boat.
  7. Arrange the asparagus on a dish.
  8. Cover with the mashed egg yolks (not on the tips).
  9. Put the mashed egg whites over the mashed egg yolks and lastly decorate with parsley.
  10. Serve the melted butter separately (it has to be poured over the dish).


  • For a lighter version, you can substitute the butter with olive oil and use only the egg whites to reduce the fat content. Adding a squeeze of lemon juice over the asparagus before serving can also add a refreshing twist. For a heartier variation, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top before serving.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the asparagus is cooked perfectly, choose spears that are uniform in size. This will help them cook evenly. Fresh asparagus should be bright green with firm, closed tips. When boiling the asparagus, adding a pinch of sugar to the water can help enhance its natural sweetness. To achieve the perfect hard-boiled eggs, start them in cold water, bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let them sit covered for about 12 minutes before cooling them in ice water. This method helps prevent the yolks from turning grey.

Serving Suggestions

Asparagus in the Flemish Manner can be served as a standalone dish or as a side. It pairs beautifully with a simple grilled fish or chicken for a light, springtime meal. For a more substantial meal, serve alongside roasted potatoes or a fresh garden salad.

Cooking Techniques

The key to this recipe is the preparation of the asparagus and eggs. Boiling the asparagus until it is tender but still crisp and cooking the eggs to the perfect level of hardness are crucial steps. Melting the butter gently to avoid separation ensures a smooth, rich sauce to complement the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If asparagus is not in season, green beans make a suitable substitute. For a dairy-free version, use a plant-based butter alternative. Chives or green onions can be used in place of parsley for a different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

The eggs can be boiled and the asparagus blanched ahead of time. Store them in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the dish. This makes for a quick and easy assembly right before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Arrange the asparagus spears neatly on a platter, creating a bed for the egg mixture. Use a piping bag to neatly distribute the egg yolks and whites, and sprinkle the parsley evenly for a touch of color. Serve the melted butter in a small pitcher on the side for an elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

A crisp, dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a light Chardonnay pairs beautifully with this dish, complementing its buttery and delicate flavors without overpowering them.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. To reheat, gently warm in a pan over low heat to prevent the eggs and butter from separating. It's best enjoyed fresh, as the texture of the asparagus is key to the dish's appeal.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Asparagus in the Flemish Manner contains approximately 300 calories. The majority of these calories come from the fats in the butter and eggs, making this dish a satisfying, yet moderate, option calorie-wise.


A serving of Asparagus in the Flemish Manner contains approximately 5 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from the asparagus itself, which is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense vegetable. The eggs and butter add minimal carbohydrates to the dish.


This dish is relatively high in fats, primarily due to the butter and eggs. A single serving contains about 22 grams of fat, with 13 grams being saturated fat from the butter. However, the dish also provides healthy fats from the egg yolks, which contain omega-3 fatty acids.


Asparagus in the Flemish Manner is a good source of protein, providing approximately 12 grams per serving. The eggs are the primary source of protein in this dish, making it a great option for vegetarians looking for protein-rich meals.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamin K, folate, and iron from the asparagus, and selenium, Vitamin D, and B vitamins from the eggs. The parsley also adds a boost of Vitamin C, enhancing the dish's overall nutritional profile.


The primary allergens in this dish are eggs and dairy (from the butter). Individuals with sensitivities to these ingredients should exercise caution or seek alternative recipes.


Overall, Asparagus in the Flemish Manner is a nutritious dish that balances proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. While it is higher in fats, these are mostly healthy fats from the eggs. The dish is also low in carbohydrates, making it suitable for those on low-carb diets.


Asparagus in the Flemish Manner is a celebration of simplicity and seasonal ingredients. This traditional Flemish dish, with its rich history and nutritional benefits, offers a delightful balance of flavors and textures. Whether served as a main course or a side dish, it's sure to bring a touch of elegance to any meal. With a few cooking tips and tricks, along with suggested variations and serving ideas, this recipe can be easily adapted to suit different tastes and dietary needs, making it a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was captivated by its flavors. It was a rainy afternoon in the quaint town of Bruges, Belgium, and I had sought shelter in a cozy little café. As I perused the menu, my eyes landed on a dish called "Asparagus in the Flemish Manner." Intrigued by the name, I decided to give it a try.

When the dish arrived at my table, I was immediately struck by its presentation. The tender green asparagus spears were elegantly arranged on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, topped with a generous drizzle of rich hollandaise sauce. The aroma that wafted up from the plate was simply irresistible.

The first bite was a revelation. The asparagus was perfectly cooked, with just the right amount of crunch, and it paired beautifully with the velvety mashed potatoes and the luscious hollandaise sauce. I savored every mouthful, my taste buds dancing with delight.

When the meal was over, I couldn't resist asking the waitress for the recipe. She smiled and told me that it was a traditional Flemish dish, passed down through generations. She promised to write it down for me, and true to her word, she handed me a piece of paper with the ingredients and instructions.

I couldn't wait to recreate the dish in my own kitchen. As soon as I returned home, I gathered all the necessary ingredients and set to work. The process was easier than I had anticipated, and soon enough, the familiar aroma of asparagus and hollandaise sauce filled my kitchen.

The first bite of my homemade Asparagus in the Flemish Manner transported me back to that cozy café in Bruges. I closed my eyes and savored the flavors, feeling a sense of accomplishment wash over me. I had successfully recreated a traditional Flemish dish, and it was every bit as delicious as I remembered.

Over the years, I have made Asparagus in the Flemish Manner countless times, each time tweaking the recipe to suit my own tastes. I have added a pinch of nutmeg to the hollandaise sauce, or a sprinkle of chives for a touch of freshness. Every variation has been met with rave reviews from my family and friends, who have come to look forward to this dish as a staple at our gatherings.

As I reflect on my journey with this recipe, I am reminded of the power of food to connect us to our past and to the places we have been. Each time I make Asparagus in the Flemish Manner, I am transported back to that rainy afternoon in Bruges, to the taste of tradition and history that lingered on my tongue.

And so, as I continue to cook and create in my kitchen, I am grateful for the memories and stories that have been woven into the fabric of my recipes. For each dish I make is not just a meal, but a piece of my story, a connection to the places and people who have inspired me along the way. And for that, I am truly thankful.


| Asparagus Recipes | Belgian Recipes | Belgian Vegetarian | Egg Recipes |

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