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Meatless Monday: Oktoberfest Feast

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

You don’t have to make it to Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest. Pick up some seasonal beer and set the table with good ‘ole comfort food — German style. To make it meatless, skip the bratwurst and make Roasted White Asparagus with Sauerkraut Hollandaise instead. Rich and buttery with sour notes and wholesome crunchy bits, this dish is best served with a crisp pint (or two).

White asparagus is loaded with nutrients so you’ll feel better about sopping up more of the rich and creamy sauce. With a milder flavor than their green counterparts, the white stalks are the perfect landing spot for for tangy hollandaise and hearty pumpernickle breadcrumbs.  To make it a true Oktoberfest feast, don’t forget the potatoes. German potato salad is awesome.

Roasted White Asparagus with Sauerkraut Hollandaise and Toasted Pumpernickel Breadcrumbs

PUMPERNICKEL BREADCRUMBS:
2 slices day-old pumpernickel bread, crusts removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

SAUERKRAUT HOLLANDAISE AND ROASTED WHITE ASPARAGUS:
4 tablespoons juice from prepared sauerkraut
4 egg yolks, at room-temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches jumbo white asparagus (about 1 1/2 pounds), woody ends removed, thin skin peeled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions
For the pumpernickel breadcrumbs:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pulse the bread in a food processor several times to produce fine crumbs. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a baking sheet, pour the melted butter on top and toss to coat. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and then bake until lightly toasted and crispy, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the hollandaise and asparagus: Bring about 1 inch water to a boil over medium heat. Beat the sauerkraut juice and egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl until foamy and light, about 30 seconds, and then set the bowl over the water, making sure it doesn’t touch the water, and slowly whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking over the heat until all of the butter has been added and the hollandaise is thick and creamy, 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, add the vegetable oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and then roast until the asparagus are tender and starting to brown on the edges, 14 to 16 minutes.

To serve, spoon the sauerkraut hollandaise over the asparagus and top with the pumpernickel breadcrumbs.

More Meatless Ways to Celebrate Oktoberfest:

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    A very German recipe but one thing lost in translation is the fact that white asparagus is an early summer vegetable – you will to find it in September/Oktober in Munich.

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