Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
I am not an asparagus fan, but this version not only changed my mind — but had my children hand-slapping each other over the last piece. You know it’s a good bit of asparagus when a 13-year old carb-freak says, “Mom, didn’t you make any more?” while stealing the last tips of his sister’s plate.
Easy as pie, there are two keys to this…a hot oven and really good, fresh asparagus. I bought mine at Whole Foods, but at springtime, you should definitely try to find some at the farm market.
Since Hollandaise can be a bit of a scare for anyone who hasn’t spent years over a double boiler, this blender version is almost as good as the real thing. And it won’t separate on you in a heartbreaking moment of fickleness.
1-2 bunches fresh asparagus (about a pound)
1-2 Tbs Olive oil (Meyer lemon infused is ideal, but not a requirement)
Pinch of Salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash asparagus and break off woody ends. Lay on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Bake for about 10 minutes, then turn. Continue baking until asparagus has become soft and looks “toasted”; turn at least once more to make sure all sides are roasted. Depending on the thickness of your asparagus and how roasted your like your veggies, cooking times will vary. I tend to like mine really well done.
8 T butter (1 stick)
3 fresh egg yolks
2 T lemon juice
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Melt butter in a saucepan. Meanwhile, place separated eggs into a blender and begin blending on low until they begin to thicken. Keeping the blender turned on, pour the butter in a thin stream into the blender. Don’t just dump it all in, or the process won’t work. Add the lemon juice and cayenne, along with the Worcestershire sauce while blender is still going. Once it’s thickened, give it a taste. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more lemon juice or warm water. Use within an hour or so.
Keep in mind that the eggs won’t get cooked, so if that’s a concern, use pasteurized eggs. The butter and eggs are pretty key here, so use the best quality you can find. Some people like to use European style sweet butter, but sometimes I find it a bit cloying.