They’re here, and what a glorious season it is in the north!
That first bite of fresh local asparagus is like a gift from the heavens. There are certain vegetables I only eat when they are in season. I’ve learned disappointment is likely to follow if I’m tempted to buy corn on the cob or blueberries in the middle of winter. Asparagus is one of them. We might only have these delightful sprouts for a month, but, oh what a month it is! And just in time for my 500th post! Amazing.
So many possibilities
We’ll eat these beautiful spears raw right from the patch, grill them, broil them, boil them, pop them in stir-fries, and turn them into soup. They might appear in a quiche at a May lunch outdoors. Or, folded into a delightful omelette on the Sunday brunch menu. Vegan tart perhaps, or served as the topping on a salad.
Let treat them lightly
All that will happen as the season progresses, but the very first bunch is simply served – quickly steamed with just a touch of salt or a little dip of homemade mayonnaise. Nothing better!
Homemade vs. store bought
Homemade mayonnaise is so much more delicious than the jarred, even my favorite Hellman’s. It’s also healthier, having less saturated fat per serving (just over a gram per tablespoon) and absolutely no preservatives or additives. Of course, it only keeps for three days, so I plan its use carefully!
Not as hard as you think
Homemade mayonnaise! Does that sound daunting? It is really one of the simplest things to make, whether or not you have a food processor, you just have to follow a couple rules. First of all, everything should be at room temperature. Secondly, the drizzling of the oil into the mayonnaise must be done very, very slowly. Add another very. But even so, it doesn’t take that long to make, and the results are worth it.
Neutral please, not your best olive oil
Another thing to remember is that you need a neutral oil: organic canola or grapeseed work well here. This is not the place for your beautiful fruity olive oil. Learn from my foolishness. My first attempt at mayonnaise making, I used a lovely imported extra-virgin olive oil, not a cheap ingredient, and the result was quite harsh.
Yes, there are raw eggs used
I have used local organic eggs for this, raw. I know and trust my local farms, and the incidence of contaminated eggs is quite low, like one in tens of thousands. However, if you have any concerns about using raw eggs, of if you are pregnant or immune compromised, please use pasteurized eggs, or pasteurize them yourself, it is not hard, and instructions can be found on-line here and other places. Also, never use a cracked egg.
Spring Asparagus with Homemade Chive Mayonnaise
- 1 bunch freshly picked asparagus, lightly steamed
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 rounded tsp. French mustard
- Salt and freshly ground pepper*
- 1 ¼ or slightly more, cups of neutral oil
- 2 tbsp. freshly snipped chives, minced
- Coarse salt and lemon slices to garnish
Steam the asparagus. If the spears are really thick, break them off at their natural spot when bent. If they are very slender, just trim the ends a bit. They will cook quickly, so keep your eye on them. Check at two minutes if thin, and test along the way. If over cooked, they will become pale, slimy, and stringy – not the stuff that spring dreams are made of.
In a food processor, or using a stick blender in a narrow container, whirl the egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, and a couple of tablespoons of the oil for about 20 seconds, until well blended. Very slowly drizzle the first quarter cup of oil by little drops, very gradually increasing. As the mayonnaise thickens, you can pour in a little faster. Many food processors have a little hole in the insert to the feeding tube, and after the first quarter of a cup, it dispenses the oil just right. The mayonnaise will start to thicken all at once, completely changing texture and sound.
Once thick, adjust with a little water if it needs thinning. For the chive mayo, turn out what you need for the meal into a small bowl and mix in as many chives as you like. Thin the sauce to desired consistency using a bit more lemon juice or water. Here, I wanted it kind of dipping thick, but another time, I might have liked to pour it.
Sometimes I do this whole process by hand. Use a large bowl and a big whisk, and proceed as above. It takes a bit more time, but is actually quite satisfying a task, and you get to use that giant balloon whisk!
*I use freshly ground black pepper and ignore the little black flecks. Often white pepper is used, but I don’t happen to like the flavor of it, so black it is for me!
Additions, let your imagination run wild!
There are countless things you can add to this delightful mayonnaise. Make your mayonnaise first, then add the extra ingredients and taste until you get where you want to be. Roasted garlic to make aioli is a standard, as is a squeeze of sriracha. Horseradish? Scallions? Tarragon? Pesto? Smoked paprika? Anchovies? Chopped hard-boiled egg and capers? Curry paste? Dill pickle relish? So many possibilities, let your imagination run wild.
P.S. I simply can’t believe I have posted 500 times on this site! How time flies!
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58 Comments Add yours
Gorgeous. Love how you prepared this vegetable.
Thank you Jovina! Simple is always best with these beauties!
I can not imagine eating asparagus with mayonnaise, but it looks good.
It’s delicious! The chives make the homemade mayo sing!
Thank you! It certainly tasted like spring!
It’s the only way my mom would eat asparagus, with her beloved mayo! I’ve never tried to make it myself but I might need to give this one a try! My sister would love it! 💕C
Give it a try, it’s so good!
And I’m told it is socially acceptable to eat asparagus with your fingers if dipping! I didn’t actually have to be told that.
My favorite is roasted with teeny bit of garlic, black pepper, and olive oil!
Yum! Nothing better!
What a beautiful picture of asparagus! It is a feast for the eyes and it sounds delicious.
Thank you Julia! It is always so beautiful to behold after a long winter!
Back on the farm we had an area where the irrigation water seeped under a couple of huge trees. That area thrived with wild asparagus. Mom would go pick it make it with hollandaise. Such memories! I love how you presented this, it looks so appealing and refreshing! Your mayo sounds absolutely delicious!
What lovely memories! I love it with Hollandaise too, but it’s always fun to try something different.
Wow I had no idea how to make mayo! I am surprised how it only requires 2 egg yolks. Really a great recipe!
It’s amazing, and so delicious! Give it a try!
Delicious combination. Fresh asparagus is indeed the best. No substitutes! 🙂
Nothing like it in the world!
Yes, yes, yes ~ I’m in foodie heaven! 😊 We’re eating lightly steamed asparagus from the garden every couple of days and I never tire of it, it’s such a wonderful celebration of the season. I enjoy making mayonnaise by hand and I think it’s one of those things that takes patience and a lot of love, you really can’t rush it, can you? Lemon juice has always been my favourite addition but having made scrap apple cider vinegar last year I have to say it hits the spot. Here’s to a lot of asparagus appreciation across the miles! 😉
Thank you! It’s such a lovely treat.
You are so right, you can’t rush it, but that is the enjoyment of making your own mayo. The feel of it constantly changing, and all of a sudden, it’s just right!
Fresh asparagus is something most of us can appreciate. Love it!
So wonderful this time of year.
I love asparagus and have been known to eat it ‘out of season’ when a little tough and/or stringy. I don’t seem to learn. Guess it’s wishful thinking. lol… I will say, though, I have been overjoyed when that hasn’t been the case – 1 in 10!!! 😉 😉
Love the mayonnaise recipe. It’s a keeper!
Thank you Carolyn dear! It is always so tempting!
As the season is so short one has to really eat Asparagus as often as possible.
Homemade mayonnaise is so flavourful and by adding in different herbs and different oils it can become very interesting. Happy Asparagus season! :))
Happy asparagus season to you too! One of my favorites Mary!
With fresh asparagus thriving, we know Summer isn’t far behind! 🦋🦋🦋
It’s the best time of year, everything is all about possibilities!
Absolutely true. 🪴🍃🌱🌿
No bugs, yet. No weeds, much. No humidity, yet. In y mind, everythings in the season to come will be wonderful.
Your plate looks fantastic! We love asparagus, especially when Bill brings home his fresh caught sea bass or flounder. I poach the fish fillets along with the gus in a lemon-butter sauce and serve with a side of creamy mashed potatoes. So yummy with an ice cold glass of white wine! Buon appetito! 🥂
It is not even 5 p.m., and now I am starving thinking about this meal! Let me know the next time you make it!
And it’s so easy, too! Making the mash takes longer than anything!
Any dish with mashed potatoes already has a head start in approval n my book!
Gotta love mash … even better with a little lemon butter sauce!
Asparagus is my favorite vegetable, it is so versatile, and I must admit I buy it all year long. I have made homemade mayonnaise, and it is delicious, but I mainly take the short cut and used Dukes.
You know, I think of jarred and homemade mayonnaise as two totally different things! They don’t taste the same, and they both have their place!
Your recipes are always inspiring. Summer patio dinner parties are popular on this end. Thank you dearly for your unending tips!❤️❤️❤️❤️
Oh, thank you so much! This is the type of recipe I like the best, simple ingredients, served up in their prime, usually with happy diners!
Why are AOC’s likes disappearing from your posts? Continuously they disappear and are input again. Maybe the error is on AOC’s end.🤔
I don’t know my friend, but I also have the reverse problem. I type a respond to your posts and quite often it tells me I can’t post and try again later. I try , and it still doesn’t post. I do love your posts, and hope you know i’m not ignoring you!
What a lovely Spring Delight! This sounds delicious! I never had it with mayo…
I will give it a try!
Thank you! You may be pleasantly surprised!
I’ve never made homemade mayo, but I’m sure it
s much better than any you could buy! Sounds delicious with the asparagus! 🙂
They are perfect together Nancy, especially if you happen to have some chives to add to the mix!
yes asparagus in season is wonderful as is homemade mayo! But i buy Japanese kewpie mayo these days – so delicious.
Thanks for stopping by Sherry. There are certain vegetables and fruits that when they come in season are like gifts!
Ahhh the first asparagus is a delighful thing and perfect with homemade mayo 🙂
Thank you Carol! There wasn’t a spear left uneaten!
Well this one was unexpected and wonderful!
Thank you! It’s spring!
Of COURSE, you make your own mayonnaise! Dorothy, you are my absolute hero! I bought a new food processor last year and still have not attempted this, but you give me so much courage to try it. I appreciate your tips about choosing the right oil. I will use a good quality, expeller pressed canola. What do you think about adding just a tablespoon or so of fruity or peppery extra virgin olive oil at the end?
The first time you make it, do it straight up with neutral, that will be your baseline. After that, be your wild and crazy experimental self. I’ve made it with about 1/4 fruity olive oil for roasted vegetables, and it was delicious.
That’s what I’ll do. Thanks so much for these tips!
I love asparagus in any way! I like the combination with mayonnaise and also with hollandaise sauce 😉
Oh yes, Hollandaise is the best on asparagus, especially if you’re heavy on the lemon!