A Classic French Sauce

Grilled Asparagus with Buerre Blanc Sauce
A Classic French Sauce

A classic French recipe. A perfect match for the first asparagus of the season.



  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste (Classic recipes use white pepper)
  • 1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces and chilled


Boil wine, lemon juice, and shallot in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until liquid is syrupy and reduced to 2 to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Add cream, salt, and white pepper and boil 1 minute. Reduce heat to moderately low and add a few tablespoons butter, whisking constantly. Add remaining butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly and adding new pieces before previous ones have completely liquefied (the sauce should maintain consistency of hollandaise), lifting pan from heat occasionally to cool mixture.

Remove from heat, then season to taste with salt and pepper and pour sauce through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on and then discarding shallot. Serve immediately.