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Roasted Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

1 August 2011


I had an amazing, incredibly memorable dinner on a recent trip to Bavaria with my sweetheart – poached salmon with a creamy lemon hollandaise, buttery rice, garlic broccoli and delicious honey wine served in a cow’s horn (!!!) – and have spent the better part of the past two months daydreaming about it ever since. Aside from racking my mind about the ways in which someone can a) get their hands on a cow’s horn and b) turn said horn into a working receptacle for ale and/or wine, I’ve been trying to decide how best to replicate that kick-ass hollandaise.

I’ve momentarily given up on my cow horn cup dreams, but am very pleased to share this lovely recipe for a homemade hollandaise with roasted asparagus. Sure, you can make hollandaise from a packet of powder picked up at your local supermarket, but trust me – this tastes better and really is incredibly easy. The trick is to not allow the egg yolk-lemon juice mixture to overheat when whisking over simmering water – or you’ll have a bowl of scrambled eggs on your hands. Otherwise, this recipe is no mystery and is a brilliant vegetable side dish served with fish or chicken.

Note: I tend to like my hollandaise very lemony, which my mum noted this morning was practically blasphemous. If you don’t like the lemon flavour, halve the amount of lemon juice suggested in the recipe below.

Buon appetito!



Serves 4

300 grams fresh asparagus, rinsed, patted dry + tough ends trimmed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp coarse sea salt

4 fresh egg yolks

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

Fresh lemon slices, to serve


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius.

2.  Place asparagus stems in a single layer on an ungreased, rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and shake pan to coat stems. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, shaking pan every five minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, vigorously whisk egg yolks and lemon juice in a stainless steel or Pyrex bowl until thickened and doubled in volume. Place bowl over a barely simmering pan of water (do not allow bowl to touch water) and continue whisking rapidly. Take care to not allow egg mixture to overheat, as eggs may inadvertently scramble.

4.  Slowly drizzle in melted butter, continuing to whisk until sauce is thickened and again doubled in volume.

5.  Remove from heat, add cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Whisk well and place in a warm location. If sauce becomes too thick, add a small amount of warm water or extra lemon juice to thin, if desired.

6.  Remove asparagus from oven and arrange on a serving dish or individual plates. Drizzle with warm hollandaise sauce and serve with fresh lemon slices.



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