I had this recently, and it's a feast, although it's almost too simple to prepare to warrant a recipe of its own. Still, as it's asparagus season, here we go (serves two):
- 500g asparagus
- balsamic vinegar
- 200g thinly sliced gravad lax (Swedish marinated salmon with dill)
- 1 piece horseradish
Cut the base ends off the asparagus, then peel about two thirds up the stalks. Tie about half the stalks together with string, so that you have two bunches of asparagus (this is important so you can get them out of the pot later).
In a large pot, bring salted, sugared water to the boil, then put in the asparagus and let simmer until very tender, up to 20 minutes. Remove asparagus from the pot, cut the strings and let them dry and cool a bit.
Arrange the gravad lax (salmon) on one half of a plate and grate the horseradish over it. Put the asparagus on the other half; gently pour a little balsamic vinegar over the asparagus stalks, but make sure it doesn't mingle with the fish.
Serve with white bread and a glass of dry, fresh white wine like a young Austrian Grüner Veltliner.
(If you don't have gravad lax, smoked salmon will do, although this has a less subtle taste. If you don't have balsamic vinegar, you can use other kinds of vinegar, but again this might taste too intense. Also avoid wines that are too fruity or too sweet.)