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Wednesday, June 13

It’s Spargel Season

Spargel is Asparagus in German.  They also have the Grüner (Green) Spargel but the white is cherished of the two.  Starting mid April the farmers market and grocery stores are brimming with asparagus.  Many local restaurants even feature Spargel on their menu to attract customers.  The season starts in April and lasts until a religious day in June.  Don’t ask which one or why.  All I know is on that day, last of it is sold to Germans who stuff their mouths with the white gold and then it disappears.  This also explains why Grüner Spargel isn’t very common here.  After 2 whole months of nothing but white asparagus, the season ends and Germans’ love affair with the vegetable is restrained until the next Spring. 

With all the hype about Spargel, I used it in basic preparation.  Sometimes Mayonnaise as a sauce is the best way to enjoy the vegetable.  Take Potatoes for instance.  Or Broccoli.  Or Cauliflower.  Really the options are endless.  As long as you don’t do it every week.  The jarred stuff is no match for fresh veggies.  Don’  I am talking homemade mayonnaise drizzled over asparagus.   

Asparagus with Mayonnaise

Serves 2 as a side

500 grams white asparagus
1 cup water
salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon butter


1 garlic clove, optional
1 egg, farm fresh (bring to room temperature)
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
3/4- 1 cup Oil (non flavored  i.e. vegetable, canola, sunflower is best.  Olive oil makes it bitter)
salt and freshly ground white pepper

In a 10 inch skillet, bring water to boil on high heat.  (Use a wide and deep enough skillet that allows the asparagus to lay flat in a single layer.) 

While water comes to boil, snap off the ends of each asparagus.  Hold the end with thumb and index finger of right hand and place thumb and index finger of left hand about half way up or in the middle of asparagus and bend.  Do this with each piece.

Peel the asparagus with a vegetable peeler.  White asparagus (and thick green ones also) are fibrous and stringy so if not peeled, it is tough.   Once peeled, rinse the asparagus and then add to the boiling water.  Add salt and pepper.  Cover the skillet and cook for 10 minutes.  If the asparagus is thicker, cook longer and shorter time if thinner. 

Here’s a revelation for me and maybe for you as well.  MAYONNAISE CAN BE MADE IN 60 SECONDS. 

Take a moment to absorb that because it took me 2 days to comprehend this was possible.  In the tall, narrow cup (most often known as smoothie cup) of the blender, add garlic clove and blend for 10- 20 seconds.  Add all the other ingredients to the cup, place the immersion blender all the way at the bottom, press start and the emulsion will happen.  As the liquid thickens, move the blender slowly up to the top and blend.  In 40- 60 seconds mayonnaise will be ready.  Do not over blend. 

Great-tasting, best thing that’s happened since sliced bread mayonnaise is ready.  Speaking of which, it’s spectacular on sliced bread. 

When asparagus is done, drain the water, reduce heat to medium and add butter to the pan.  Let the asparagus brown for 2 minutes. 

Place cooked asparagus on a plate, sprinkle salt and white pepper and spoon homemade mayonnaise over the top.  Finish with chopped chives or any fresh herb of choice. 


  1. I have to agree - there's NOTHING like homemade mayonnaise!

    I have yet to try the immersion blender mayo - to save me from whisking the thing by hand until my arm feels like it will fall off.

    Just had a flashback - remember that garlic aioli we had with potatoes when the 4 of us had dinner at Light Bistro (in Cleveland)? Drool.

  2. Let me know how the immersion blender process works for you.

    Oh you bring back great memories; I rememeber that aioli, it was so good!