Asparagus

Open-Faced Asparagus Sandwich

April 20, 2020
2 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

Riddle me this: What if you made a tomato sandwich without the tomato? You know the one I’m talking about: bread, mayo, tomato, salt, pepper, done. It’s easy to think this template hinges on the tomato—but the truth is, lots of vegetables would be happy to hop in. The ingredient need not be glamorous—only in-season, delicious on its own, the stuff vegetable-dreams are made of. Like cucumbers, radishes, artichokes, or, my favorite, asparagus.

This is the sort of recipe you can read once, then never again. I skip the measurements because I don’t believe in measuring something like mayonnaise—spread it with abandon.

Because there are so few components, here’s how to make each really, truly shine: Salt the water generously (the asparagus, bright green and seasoned inside-out, will thank you later). Half a pound of asparagus sounds like a lot, I know, but honestly, that’s the whole point. This only happens once a year. Reach for a deeply flavored loaf, but if you’re unable, toast whatever you’ve got hard, but not so much that you end up with a cracker. If you can only find a standard-size baguette, simply line up the asparagus next to it on a cutting board, then cut the loaf to match the length of the asparagus. Crusty hoagies, sub rolls, or even a long-shaped loaf would also work well here. Though homemade mayo is welcome, it’s by no means necessary—you’re only looking for creamy, rich foundation for the asparagus. And don’t skimp on the vinegar. It wakes up all the other ingredients, and marries them together. —Emma Laperruque

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2 open-faced sandwiches
Ingredients
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound fat asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 asparagus-length demi baguette, halved horizontally like a hamburger bun (see Author Notes for other options), toasted
  • Mayonnaise
  • White wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and generously salt it (estimate 1 tablespoon kosher salt per 1 quart of water). Cook the asparagus for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on its thickness, until it’s just crisp-tender. Use tongs to remove the asparagus to a plate and let cool while you prepare the landing zone. Spread each bread half generously with mayonnaise. Now top each with half of the asparagus, splash with vinegar, and sprinkle with salt (flaky is nice here if you have it) and pepper. Eat immediately, with napkins at the ready.

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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

1 Review

Matt H. April 24, 2020
Whelp, this is certainly a "four-twenty" recipe if there ever were one.