One of my favorite ways to prepare asparagus is to simply sprinkle it with a bit of olive oil, a healthy squeeze of lemon juice, some salt and pepper, then wrap the whole thing in foil and cook to perfection for 10 or 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. This technique also works with grilling.
I also love steamed, chilled asparagus with a great dipping sauce. My favorite is a take on the familiar Bearnaise sauce, but done as a rich but fresh-tasting mayonnaise. Sweet and mellow, tarragon is another one of my favorite flavors, and like dill, it seems to blend so well with all the lovely vegetables of spring, like asparagus, spinach and fresh peas.
Try this Bearnaise mayonnaise with chilled asparagus spears for your next spring fling:
- 1 minced shallot, or 2 teaspoons of minced mild onion
- 4 tablespoons white wine
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (if you have tarragon vinegar, all the better!)
- 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
Heat together in a small saucepan until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Keep an eye on it; once it begins to evaporate, it happens quickly. Also, you may want to turn on an exhaust fan or crack a window as the vinegar aroma does become a bit pungent.
Combine the reduced mixture with:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill completely, and serve as a dip for fresh vegetables.