Steamed asparagus with verjuice mayonnaise

Steamed asparagus with verjuice mayonnaise. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Steamed asparagus with verjuice mayonnaise. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Time to celebrate! The first locally grown asparagus has hit the market. It needs little introduction so I'm simply adding a mayonnaise to do the talking.

Steamed asparagus with verjuice mayonnaise.
Serves 4
6 medium-sized spears of fresh asparagus per person
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
Verjuice mayonnaise
2 egg yolks
60ml verjuice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
125 ml grapeseed or ricebran oil
100 ml extra virgin olive oil

Bring a good-sized saucepan of salted water to the boil.

To prepare the asparagus: hold the tip of the asparagus between your thumb and finger firmly and with the other hand gently snap off the other end. It should snap where it becomes more tender. Discard the woody end or use it in a stock to add to your soup or risotto. Set aside.

To make mayonnaise: you can do this by hand with a whisk or by using a food processor (this is up to you).

Whisk two egg yolks with the mustard and verjuice until emulsified and thick (this adds stability). Drizzle in the ricebran oil first. It is vital that you do only add drop by drop until it emulsifies or it can split. When you see the oil combining easily you can pour in the oil in a more consistent stream. Do the same with the extra virgin olive oil until you get the desired consistency. Season to taste and put into a serving dish.

Carefully plunge the asparagus into the boiling water and cook for 2-4 minutes depending on size and how tender you like it. Drain well, sprinkle with a little sea salt flakes and a crack or two of pepper and serve alongside your verjuice mayonnaise.

Alison Lambert, chef at Otago Farmers Market, will demonstrate this recipe at the market on Saturday morning.


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