Recipe: Asparagus with saffron aioli
11⁄2 lb (750 g) medium or thick asparagus
1⁄4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, slivered
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and ground pepper
2 large eggs, hard-boiled
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) canola oil
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) olive oil
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1–2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Trim or snap off the tough ends of asparagus, leaving the spear about 5 inches (13 cm) long. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer skin, starting 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the tip.
In a shallow dish, stir together the oil, garlic, and lemon zest and juice. Add the asparagus, turn to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Brush and oil the grill grate.
Grill the asparagus directly over medium-high heat, turning often, until the spears are tender-crisp and grill marks appear, 5–6 minutes.
Peel and halve the hard-boiled eggs. Remove the yolks and finely chop the yolks and whites separately.
Transfer the asparagus to a platter and garnish with alternating bands of the chopped egg yolks and whites. Serve hot off the grill or at room temperature with the saffron aioli on the side.
Makes 6–8 servings
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Excerpted from Williams-Sonoma On the Grill. Recipes by Willie Cooper. Photographs by Ray Kachatorian. Copyright © 2009 Weldon Owen Inc. and Williams-Sonoma.