All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2017

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.



6 comments:

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!