Purple Reign; Asparagus with Violet Mustard Vinaigrette

April 20, 2013
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 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).
  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile whisk together your oil, vinegar, mustard , salt and pepper.
  3. The other meanwhile, toast the almond pieces in a dry skillet just long enough to pick up some color.
  4. To plate, arrange your asparagus stems and drizzle the dressing over them. If using top with a spoonful of almonds. It’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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • luvcookbooks
  • Greenstuff
  • Midge
  • pierino
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.

6 Reviews

luvcookbooks March 11, 2014
Pierino, I am so thrilled to see a recipe using the violet mustard. I first encountered it in a restaurant in New Hampshire and found the Zingerman's product through googling. Agree w you about the sherry vinegar, too-- not as sweet as balsamic. Can't wait to try on asparagus since I have the mustard in the frig. Can't believe my husband complained that there was no yellow colored mustard in the house!!
Greenstuff March 3, 2014
There are other brands of violet mustard besides the one that pierino uses. They may be called grape must mustard (or moutarde au moût de raisin). I just happen to have some in my refrigerator, and the local asparagus has arrived, so you know what I’m cooking tonight.
Anne R. October 21, 2013
Where can I buy violet mustard? Online or San Francisco Bay Area
Thank you ,
pierino October 21, 2013
If I didn't say so already you can order it online through Zingermans. To make it easy the item number is P-VIO.
Michele L. September 24, 2013
I was able to find the moutarde violette at my local Fairway store. Can't wait to try this recipe!
Midge April 23, 2013
Great name. Sounds delicious too!