Spring! This weekend the city came alive at last. Pale people emerged from their apartments blinking in the bright sunlight, and I was one of them. I ditched my socks, sat in the grass, and explored the park with my toddler leading the way. While proper leaves have yet to emerge, I spotted teeny green sprouts peeking out of buds all over the neighborhood and a lone forsythia with yellow buds just about to bloom. And you know, this year of all years, I really need the spring. It feels merciful. We’ve worked so hard and the winter’s been so long. I recommend you unscrew some rosé (don’t judge – once you go screw top, you’ll never, or at least rarely, go back), let the sun hit your face, and then have a little asparagus.
As you likely know, we dedicate ourselves to seasonal eats on this blog, and while asparagus is appropriate for the season, they aren’t quite ready this far north (asparagus don’t hit in this region until mid to late April). But you know what? I don’t care. It’s Easter, it’s spring, and I’m going to have some. You should too.
But before you do, we have an exciting giveaway to tell you about. If you missed our giveaway last week, we have great news – we’re doing another one! As part of our partnership with 100 percent Florida orange juice, we’re giving away a $20 Williams-Sonoma gift card, a copy of Claire Robinson’s 5 Ingredient Fix cookbook, and a measuring cup. Giveaway closes at midnight on April 7th. To enter, you must be 18 years or older, be a US resident, and like Brooklyn Supper on Facebook. One winner will be selected at random after the giveaway closes. To enter click here (and scroll to the bottom of the page): 100 Percent Florida OJ. Thanks for entering!
Blanched Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Aioli
serves 4 as a side
1 bunch asparagus, washed
2 cloves garlic, trimmed and peeled
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup of a flavorful olive oil
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
To prepare the asparagus, break off the woody ends by grabbing the stem and snapping off the bottom. The asparagus will naturally break off at the right point. Set aside while you prepare the aioli.
Though you can make aioli with a bowl and a whisk, I find my success rate is much higher using either my electric mixer or the whisk attachment for my hand blender. To start, use a mortar and pestle to mash the garlic and sea salt into a paste. Then combine the garlic, yolk, and mustard in a large bowl or other suitable vessel, and whisk to combine. Whisking vigorously, or with mixer on medium-high, add the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time and continue mixing until the oil is fully incorporated. Continue with this cycle until you’ve added about 5 or 6 tablespoons. At a certain point, the aioli will stiffen considerably. Once you reach this point, you can begin to add the oil in 1/4 cup increments, or even more. Continue whisking until the oil is all incorporated, and then whisk in the zest and juice. Taste, add more salt if needed, and set aside.
If you’ve never made it before, aioli can be easy to mess up. If yours breaks, or doesn’t ever set up, you can always start with a second yolk, and then slowly drizzle in the broken aioli. The secret for me is to add the olive oil very slowly until the mixture thickens up.
To blanch the asparagus, fill a large, shallow pan with an inch of water and bring to a boil. Salt the water generously. Add the asparagus, cover, and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
Remove the asparagus from blanching liquid with tongs and arrange on a plate. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt, several twists of black pepper, and a generous squeeze of Meyer lemon juice. Place a dollop of aioli on the side and serve.
This post was created in connection with my paid appointment as an Ambassador for the Florida Orange Juice “Just Add OJ” campaign. Visit Florida OJ on Facebook to join in the conversation.
Update: The giveaway has closed and we’ve selected a winner! Congrats to reader Jenna on winning the exciting giveaway package. Thanks to all who entered!