Author Notes: Asparagus steamed, with a vinaigrette is old school French cooking. Here I have added a few things to tart it up a bit. First I found this terrific purple colored French mustard, Moutarde Violette, through Zingermans. It takes its color from grape must. I've combined it with my favorite Spanish jerez vinegar. I have made this comment before but I prefer Spanish sherry vinegars way ahead of supermarket balsamic. The recipe is designed to yield enough dressing for four portions but if you keep to the ratio of oil to vinegar you can make more. As of now Zingerman€™s is the only source I know for the purple mustard, but depending on which urban local you inhabit you possibly will find it somewhere. Ordering on line from Mo at Zingermans the item code is p-vio. Buy some other stuff while you are there. - pierino
- 1 bunch of asparagus, approximately a pound (ideally you will use either purple or white if only for presentation).
- 1/2 cup really good olive oil, it matters.
- 1/4 cup Spanish jerez vinegar. That matters too.
- 1 tablespoon moutarde violette
- Salt and pepper
- About ¼ cup marcona almonds lightly chopped (optional, but really good).
- Trim the asparagus stems to your preference, and the size of your pan. Simmer them in salted water for about 8 minutes or just until tender.
- Meanwhile whisk together your oil, vinegar, mustard , salt and pepper.
- The other meanwhile, toast the almond pieces in a dry skillet just long enough to pick up some color.
- To plate, arrange your asparagus stems and drizzle the dressing over them. If using top with a spoonful of almonds. Itâ€™s also nice to have some crunchy warm bread on the side which you might like to dip into the purple reign on your plate.