10 May 2011

First Asparagus of the Season

Asparagus says "Spring" to me, like no other vegetable.  The tender little stalks poke through the soil on the first warm sunny spring day and their bright green shoots grow a foot overnight.  Some stalks have a beautiful purple tinge, stocky little fellows waiting for a sharp knife!

We are fortunate to have parents who planted a patch years ago and of course my farmer brother.  Others forage the roadsides looking for the telltale ferny stalks swaying in the breeze.

Our first harvest of the season is always served the same way!  I steam my stalks until just fork tender.  It only takes about 5 minutes for skinny stalks, 7 for the biggies.  If serving the asparagus cold, I immediately plunge the stalks into ice water.  This recipe also works extremely well with grilled asparagus!

In a blender, I make homemade mayonnaise (so simple, I promise) and add about a tablespoon of soy sauce.  Serve warm or cold.

cups oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

In a blender, break egg, add vinegar, salt and mustard.  Set on blend and begin adding oil in a constant thin
stream until emulsified and thick.  Stir in soy sauce to taste and use immediately.

*There is a raw egg in here, so please use a source you trust for untainted eggs.

We usually make our own mayo this way and love it!  You can substitute any vinegar or citrus juice for a custom recipe.  Homemade mayo is light and tasty for all dips, spreads, salads etc. and it's so easy to make!  I've successfully replaced Extra Virgin Olive Oil for 1/2 of the vegetable oil as well and it's even tastier! 

I love the crunchy stalks with the creamy dressing and we always try a couple stalks will the rest of supper finishes! 

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