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Author Notes: Living in the fertile heartland of Washington State, early Spring is a robust time to capture the first harvest of a long and fruitful growing season of the Pacific Northwest. The first substantial crop that appears are tender spears of fresh asparagus. Raw crisp asparagus is a gem this time of year, providing a wholesome crisp flavorful awakening from Winter's long battle. A spicy aioli dresses raw ribboned asparagus in a way that celebrates the coming bounty that awaits the patent. —Ladystiles
Serves 2 as a side
for the aioli
pieces anchovie paste
cup olive oil
- Put the yolk in a wide-mouth jar and pulse for about 30 seconds with an immersion blender.
- Add a good pinch of salt, as much minced garlic as you'd like (I used 2 cloves, spicy!), the squirt of anchovy and the juice of half a lemon. Pulse again. While pulsing, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is emulsified and creamy. Taste for salt and thin with a little water if necessary.
- Holding onto the tough end of a single spear of clean asparagus, use a vegetable peeler to shave off thin ribbons from stalk to tip, peeling away from the tough end in your hand. Discard the tough ends once you’re done peeling (I save mine for making stock). Gently pile your ribbons on a medium-sized serving platter.
- Drizzle aioli to coat the shaved asparagus, using as much dressing as desired. Toss with freshly shaved Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Use of Aioli