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.