Asparagus has to be one of my favorite vegetables, so when it comes in season I'm not about to miss out on preparing it as often as possible. One of these days I'll have a house and yard where I can start growing my own. It's too bad you can't grow it in pots! :-)
This post is more about the hollandaise sauce you put on the asparagus since preparing asparagus is super easy. My favorite way to eat it is tossed with olive oil and sea salt then grilled for about 10 minutes. It gets a bit crispy on the ends and deliciously tender in the middle. Yum, yum, yum!
Now since we can't all fire up our grill every time we want asparagus (well maybe you can if you have gas, but we prefer the old fashioned charcoal grills). I can hardly justify getting the grill going for just asparagus, so instead I roast it in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes (NOTE: Time will vary depending on the thickness of your asparagus, so use a fork to check for doneness.) Although not quite as delicious as the grill, roasting it in the oven is a close second.
What You'll Need - serves 3-4
For the asparagus:
1lb. fresh organic asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil
For the hollandaise sauce:
4 organic egg yolks
2 tbsp. filtered water
2 tsp. organic lemon juice (if you don't have lemon, white vinegar is a fine substitute)
1/2 cup melted organic butter
Pinch of cayenne pepper - optional
Fresh ground pepper
Baking dish that can hold your asparagus
Small mixing bowl
Double boiler or a stainless steel/Pyrex bowl and a small pot to make your own double boiler
1. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
2. Slice or break off the bottom 1-2" of your asparagus. This part is tough and stringy, you won't enjoy trying to eat it. Place you asparagus in your baking dish and coat with olive oil and season with your sea salt.
3. Place in your pre-heated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. You'll know it's done when the tips are beginning to brown just a tiny bit and you can easily pierce it with a fork.
4. Have your double boiler ready. You want the water to be at a very low simmer. In your small mixing bowl, whisk your egg yolks and water until they are frothy. This doesn't take but a minute or two, then pour it into the top of your double boiler.
5. Whisk the mixture until it begins to thicken and becomes a creamy consistency, then slowly whisk in your melted butter, lemon and cayenne pepper.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If your mixture is too thick, you can whisk in a couple drops of warm water to thin it.
7. About this time your asparagus should be done roasting. Serve it up with the hollandaise sauce spooned over top. Enjoy.