White asparagus with a dill lemon mustard sauce

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A classic dairyfree and paleo recipe for cooked asparagus

Asparagus with a lovely, classical sauce made from lemon and mustard and a touch of fresh dill. Most classical sauces use dairy and eggs, but this one is egg and dairyfree.

Asparagus season

Every year I look forward to the asparagus season. In the Netherlands you can buy the first asparagus from the end of February. These are often grown behind glass. This used to be from mid-March, but it seems to be a little earlier every year. In this first period they are still a bit expensive and they are not yet available in the supermarket.

From April onwards, asparagus also come from the open ground. May is the peak time. They are widely available then. In the summer you won’t find any fresh asparagus anymore… And I start longing for next year.

How to cook asparagus?

It’s best to cook the asparagus in a large pan completely covered with water. You also add the peels to the water. and the ends/bottom pieces that you’ve cut off! This adds so much flavour. They taste best if you also add some lemon juice. Cook the asparagus briefly: only about 5 minutes.

After cooking, set them aside for another 10 minutes. Still in the pan, in the warm water. Why? I honestly have no idea. But that’s how I learned it a long time ago from a friend that grew up in the area where asparagus are grown. They are the specialists in our country. The asparagus are very tasty this way. And that’s how I still do it.

How should you peel asparagus?

There will certainly be chef-proof methods. But I’m quite happy with my own method: just with a peeler. First make sure there is no sand left in the heads of the asparagus. You can carefully rinse it under the tap.

Lay the asparagus flat on your workbench. Hold just below the head. One finger is enough. Do not press too firmly, otherwise the asparagus will break. Then peel from where your finger is to the end. This way you get one long, thin peel in one long stroke. Usually just enough to remove the woody, stringy material that forms the skin. Then turn the asparagus and repeat.

You wil need about 5 or 6 small turns. Everything that has been properly peeled is now a bit lighter and moist. It shines a bit. You can easily spot any pieces of skin that you may have missed and give them another small slicing.

After peeling cut off the ends. Only now can you judge how woody the bottom is and how much needs to be removed.

Soup from the cooking liquid of asparagus

Never throw away the cooking liquid! You can make delicious asparagus soup with it. Idea: cook a little more, keep at least 2 asparagus aside. Save this in the fridge until the next day. With the peels and the bottoms/ends in the cooking liquid. You strain those out again just before use.

Lemon dressing

While the asparagus are ‘resting’, you can make a simple dressing with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and dill. You can add some mustard to taste to thicken the dressing.

Asparagus with a dill lemon mustard sauce: dairyfree and paleo recipe

ME (Marjolein Eikenboom)
Classic sauces for asparagus are made with dairy and eggs. I created a sauce with only mustard, dill and some lemon.
Free from dairy, eggs, eggwhites, gluten, grains, legumes, nightshade, nuts, peanuts, pseudograins, seeds, soy
Cook Time 5 minutes
Set aside 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course dinner, side dish
Servings 1 portion
Calories 85

Equipment

  • large cooking pan with lit
  • peeler
  • hand whisk
  • bowl

Ingredients

  • 12 pieces asparagus
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (or other fine mustard) or more to taste
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 handsful fresh dill

Instructions

  • Wash the asparagus. Carefully so they don't break. There can be some sand, especially in the heads.
  • Peel the asparagus one by one with a vegetable peeler. Lay flat, 1 finger under the head and then from the head to the bottom in long strokes.
  • After peeling cut off about a ½ inch from the bottom. But this might be different for each asparagus. Check where the hard, slightly woody part ends.
  • Place the asparagus in a large pan, add the peels and ends on top. Add the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Add water until the asparagus are covered. That will probably be a about ¼ gallon (1 liter). Boil for 5 minutes and set aside (in the pan, with the fluid!) for another 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, make the dressing. Squeeze 3 tablespoons of juice from the 2nd lemon. Mix this with the mustard and oil with a (small) whisk. Then add the dill. Reserve a little dill for garnish.

Notes

Save the cooking liquid to make soup tomorrow!

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