Each year I look forward to those precious weeks of Asparagus season and happily for me, I've arrived in Italy smack bang in Asparagus season. I must be honest and say I've not tasted asparagus as good as these, they have been a revelation in terms of flavour and texture.
The dish I've made is a fairly traditional take - asparagus sautéed in butter and then served with a good drizzle of mayonnaise.
For the Mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon mustard powder
sea salt and white pepper
125mls neutral oil, approx (just don't use olive oil)
Make the mayonnaise:
Place the egg yolk and mustard powder into a bowl, grind over a little sea salt and white pepper - whisk until combined.
Add a drop of oil at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture starts to thicken - you can then drizzle it at a steady pace as you whisk. Once all the oil has been absorbed keep whisking until it looks glossy. Finish off with a little squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
You could also make this in a food processor - blitz together the yolk, mustard powder, salt and pepper and then with the motor running, drizzle in the oil. Fold through the lemon juice and then store in a bowl until ready to serve.
Prepare the asparagus:
Remove and discard the hard woody ends.
Place a large skillet on a low heat - you want to use a pan that will take the asparagus spears in one layer. If you don't have a pan large enough, just cook them in batches.
Add a good knob of butter to the pan and once it has melted, add the asparagus - season with a little salt and pepper. Keep turning the asparagus so they brown evenly - once tender remove from the pan and place on a platter.
Lay asparagus spears on a plate and then drizzle over with mayonnaise - serve with crusty bread.