White Asparagus, Shaved Avocado, Tarragon Mayonnaise

Peruvian White Asparagus
Shaved Californian Avocado
Tarragon Mayonnaise
I was shopping at Whole Foods Market today for meat to make a very Autumn-Style dish for a big party this weekend: Stout Braised Short Ribs, a two-day process which we will be starting tomorrow morning.
Walking into the produce section, I noticed this big display of asparagus, the quintessential Spring vegetable, right? Turns out this asparagus was from Peru. Where Spring has sprung! In solidarity with my Southern Hemisphere Cooking Compadres, I picked up some asparagus to serve along side a Whole Foods pre-cooked smoked chicken tonight. Their smoked chicken is really good.
White Asparagus

Trim off the end of the asparagus, then shave the entire stalk with a vegetable peeler.

Place shaved asparagus stalks in salted simmering water with a bay leaf. Cook until tender, taste for doneness. This was about 8 minutes. When tender, place asparagus in an ice bath to stop the cooking, then dry on paper towels.

Mix mayonnaise with finely chopped fresh tarragon, salt and pepper, and a splash of tarragon vinegar. Tonight’s dinner had to be effortless, considering the upcoming party and all the cooking involved. But…
Mayonnaise aficionados might appreciate an “almost effortless” homemade version, compliments of Julia Child, that I paired with fresh swordfish here.

“Mayonnaise is one of the finest and most important sauces in classic cuisine. The shame is that few of us ever taste the kind of fresh handmade mayonnaise that deserves such culinary status – and even dedicated home cooks don’t realize that making their own is a simple process that takes only minutes and, if you use a food processor, almost no effort at all.” Julia Child

Shave a slightly under-ripe avocado into strips with the vegetable peeler. Season asparagus with salt and pepper, ladle tarragon mayonnaise over the center, top with shaved avocado ribbons. Add a tarragon sprig for garnish. This side dish was really simple and quite lovely.
Happy Spring to My Blogger Friends in the Southern Hemisphere!


For more information on Peruvian White Asparagus, please visit Gourmet Trading Company here.

Grilled Swordfish, Homemade Mayonnaise

“Mayonnaise is one of the finest and most important sauces in classic cuisine. The shame is that few of us ever taste the kind of fresh handmade mayonnaise that deserves such culinary status – and even dedicated home cooks don’t realize that making their own is a simple process that takes only minutes and, if you use a food processor, almost no effort at all, ” Julia Child.
The Julia Child birthday tribute continues. This time with her homemade mayonnaise recipe.
Julia’s Mayonnaise in the Food Processor
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Big pinch freshly ground white pepper
  • Up to 2 cups vegetable oil or pure olive oil (all one or a mixture)
Put the egg yolks, egg, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and white pepper in the work bowl of the food processor; process for 10 seconds or more, until creamy.
With the food processor running continuously, pour in the oil very slowly in driblets at first, to start the emulsion process. When the sauce has definitely thickened, you may add the oil in a thin stream. Do not stop the machine at this point, but cease pouring every few seconds to be sure the oil is being absorbed. Then continue until the remaining 1 1/2 cups of oil are incorporated. Stop the machine and check the mayonnaise for taste and consistency. Adjust the seasonings.
To learn more about mayonnaise and the very interesting chemistry of many other sauces, please visit my blogger friend, YannChef at Food Lorists.

Rub the fresh swordfish with mayonnaise, fresh ground pepper, and kosher salt. Grill over medium-high heat.


Serve grilled swordfish over a smear of mayonnaise and garnish with herbs: Italian Basil, Purple Basil, Chives, Parsley, Thyme, Dill, Mint.

Moist, pretty, simple, delicious…
Thanks again, JC!