I have tried all methods of preparing asparagus to ensure even cooking dicing the stalks, tying them together with a string and cooking them upright, cutting a cross in the stalks to encourage quicker cooking, etc., and none of them has ever been satisfactory to me; the bottom half of the asparagus still remains slightly tough. The one foolproof method to ensure tender, evenly cooked asparagus is to peel the bottom half of each one with a paring knife not a vegetable peeler. Although you do lose some nutrients by peeling away that top layer, you gain by being able to use almost the whole asparagus.
1 pound asparagus
в…“ cup olive oil
1ВЅ tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
ВЅ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Вј teaspoon salt
Liberal seasoning freshly ground pepper
1 hard-boiled egg yolk, minced
- Cut off only the very tough bottoms on the asparagus, and with a sharp paring knife carefully peel the bottom half of each one. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large skillet, lay the asparagus in the water, and cover the pan. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. (They will continue to cook a little more while cooling.) Drain very well and arrange on a large serving platter or on individual serving dishes.
- To make the vinaigrette combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Pour over the asparagus and refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled.
- When ready to serve, roll the asparagus spears around in the dressing to coat them, then sprinkle the egg yolk over them in a horizontal strip. Serve cool or at room temperature not cold.