Asparagus salad with lemon and garlic mayonnaise

    35 minutes

    White asparagus and smoked ham make an easy, but elegant dish to serve on a special occasion.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 1 kg medium–thick white asparagus
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • generous pinch of salt
    • 200 g smoked ham, trimmed of excess fat
    • fresh parsley, for garnish
    • Lemon and garlic mayonnaise
    • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 medium egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons lemon–flavoured olive oil
    • 1/2 cup (125 g) yoghurt
    • salt and ground white pepper

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:35min 

    1. Remove woody ends from asparagus. Peel stalks thinly. Half fill a large saucepan with water, add sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Add asparagus, cook 18 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness, or until crisp–tender. Remove asparagus from pan. Drain; keep warm until serving.
    2. Cut ham into wide strips and arrange over base of serving dish.
    3. To make lemon and garlic mayonnaise, pound garlic and salt to a fine paste in a medium bowl. Add egg yolk and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice. Whisk vigorously until thickened.
    4. Whisk both olive oils into the mixture, drop by drop, until it starts to thicken. Add remainder in a thin, steady stream until well combined. Add yogurt and remaining lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
    5. Place asparagus on top of ham, coat with a little mayonnaise and sprinkle with parsley leaves. Serve remaining mayonnaise in a separate bowl.

    cook's tip

    White asparagus is thicker than green asparagus. If using green asparagus, halve the cooking time. The mayonnaise uses white pepper, not black, because a dressing for white asparagus ideally is uniformly pale, with no dark speckles visible to spoil the appearance.

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