All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Sunday, June 16, 2013

asparagus with lemon emulsion sauce on a rainy day

Rain, rain, rain.  Days and days of rain tend toward gloom.  The roses rust and droop, and the newly planted vegetable starts refuse to grow beyond their 2 inch plugs.  One day, the sun came out, and as I checked on my pots of herbs, a tiny slender baby snake slithered away.  Of course I screeched, I always do:)

I ended up grabbing a bundle of fresh asparagus at the last minute one day at the market - it was crispy and green and reminded me, yes - it really is Spring.  I usually cook asparagus quickly, then dip in melted butter with a squeeze of fresh lemon.  And I always end up with a stubborn stain on my shirt.  I suddenly remembered a sauce I used to make - ( aioli) - but it was rather heavily scented with raw garlic, so I experimented with a milder version, sans the garlic.  Sweet!

I sliced the asparagus on the diagonal, then quickly blanched it in boiling water, then drained it.    As it was cooling, I made the lemon emulsion, and drizzled it on the asparagus, then served, to some very appreciative and hungry guests:  my family!  Even Frankie the two year old ate it, and that's saying something!  I served vermicelli on the side, along with some parmesan, with fresh blueberries and strawberries I marinated in orange juice.

For the asparagus:

Trim the ends off the asparagus spears.
Cut on the slant in 2 inch pieces, set aside.
Bring water to boil in a pot, when boiling, toss in the asparagus until just barely tender, strain, and set aside to cool.

For the lemon emulsion sauce:

1 large egg yolk from a fresh farm egg
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of sea salt or to taste
a pea sized bit of dijon mustard (more would overpower the sauce)
1/2 cup mild olive oil ( not virgin or extra virgin)

Whisk the egg yolk, then add the lemon juice.
Add the salt and scrape into a food processor.
Drop in the dijon, and whiz.
Add the olive oil, a teaspoon at a time, with the machine going.  
As you add the oil, the sauce will come together in a glossy, creamy emulsion.  Do not be tempted to add the oil all at once, or the sauce will fail.

Drizzle on the asparagus and serve.


La Table De Nana said...

Yesterday we saw sun...bleak bleak here today..much the same as you this summer..
Love the emulsion idea:-)

katrina said...

Oh, Nana, isn't it tiresome? I just looked at our weather forecast and three more days of rain, again.:(

Someone suggested the emulsion with artichokes, which I think is inspired! Another mentioned fish - so I think this sauce is a keeper!

diary of a tomato said...

The quiet process of making the emulsion a delightful way to spend a rainy day, which we've had no shortage of!

Barb said...

Oh this is so pretty. Springtime on a plate.

katrina said...

Diary - your description ( "the quiet process of making") describes my meditation in the kitchen perfectly! Many thanks!

katrina said...

Thanks, Barb!