I don’t usually think of serving foie gras in the summer time. It seems a little rich for summer blood.
Rich because of the creamy texture and inherent fattiness. Fattiness tends to have a slight sweetness to it (think fresh butter, or oil). That’s the ‘gras’.
All animal livers have some sort of bitterness to them. That is the ‘foie’.
Great foie gras must strike a perfect balance between that those two: bitterness and sweetness.
So how to lighten up foie gras for summer?
Steamed asparagus, chopped and lightly tossed in a little olive oil with lime juice. A sprinkle of salt and white pepper.
In a spoon, a few bits of asparagus with a cube of foie gras on top. And then grated lime zest on the spoon for electricity.
This combination has the bitterness (from the asparagus and lime rind) and the energy (from the citric of the lime rind) to lift the foie gras into summer mode.
We served with 1997 Demoiselle de Sociando Mallet. Not highly rated because considered light, 1997 was a cool-ish vintage in Bordeaux (contrary to the hot vintage it was in Burgundy). Sociando is particularly strong in off vintages and this certainly did not taste like an off vintage Bordeaux. For a 12 year second wine this Demoiselle was downright fabulous.
The tannic structure of the wine and the spices that come with aged Medoc (pepper, cedar closet, dried pine forest floor) went perfectly with the energy of the dish. The tannins and spice echo the bitterness of the ‘foie’, asparagus and lime zest and oppose (cut through) the fattiness of the ‘gras’.