Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food Styling and Photos by Kelly Hong © 4-11-2017 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
When Asparagus is in season, it’s a sure sign that Spring is on the way!!
The limbs of our Meyer lemon tree are heavy with fruit right now.
Meyer lemons are delicious, and their bright and tangy-sweet flavor pairs perfectly with asparagus.
This recipe is a springtime favorite in our house, and we are sure it will soon be a favorite of yours too.
For the Meyer Lemon Aioli:
1 large or two small garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer Lemon juice or lemon juice
Zest of one Meyer lemon or lemon
Pinch of kosher salt
For the Asparagus:
1 pound asparagus
1 cup panko bread crumbs or gluten-free panko crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
Large pinch of salt
Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
STEP I: PREPARE THE MEYER LEMON AIOLI
NOTE: This recipe uses a raw egg.
If you will be serving this aioli to people who have a compromised immune system, pregnant women or children, we recommend using a pasteurized egg.
1. Add the garlic, the Dijon mustard and the egg to a bowl of a food processor, fitted with the steel blade.
Turn the machine on and process until the garlic is chopped, and the mixture is homogenous, about 15-20 seconds.
2. Mix the olive oil and vegetable oil together.
With the machine running add the oil, in a VERY thin stream through the feeding tube.
It is VERY important that you add the oil slowly, so the oil can form an emulsion with the egg mixture!
After about a minute of mixing, the aioli should start to thicken and become creamy.
Continue to mix for a total of about 2 minutes.
3. Remove the lid and add the lemon juice, the lemon zest and mix briefly to combine.
4. Remove the lid, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the salt.
Mix briefly to incorporate the salt.
Serve immediately, with the crusted asparagus (STEP II) or, if you care to make the aioli ahead, scrape it into a small bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressed directly on the surface, so it doesn’t form a skin.
Fresh aioli can be stored in the refrigerator for three days.
STEP II: PREPARE THE ASPARAGUS. SERVE.
1. Remove one asparagus spear from a one pound bunch.
Hold the spear in your hands and bend it. It will naturally break off just above the woody, fibrous, root end.
2. Place the snapped spear back into the bunch and cut the rest of the spears a little longer than the snapped spear.
3. Wash and dry the trimmed spears.
4. Position an oven shelf to the middle of the oven.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
5. Put the panko and parmesan cheese in a shallow rimmed baking pan.
Add the salt, pepper and granulated garlic.
6. Pour the lightly beaten eggs onto another rimmed shallow baking sheet.
Add the asparagus to the pan and roll the spears in the egg making sure all the spears are completely covered with egg.
7. Add a few of the asparagus spears to the pan with the panko mixture and cover them with the mixture.
Gently pat the spears to make sure they are completely covered with crumbs.
Repeat with the remaining spears.
8. Place the spears on a third parchment lined shallow baking sheet, making sure to leave a little space between the spears.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the coating is nicely browned, and crisp.
NOTE: It is best to serve the asparagus soon after roasting, to preserve the delightful crunch.
Just before service, stir the aioli (STEP I), and garnish with additional lemon zest and some thin slices of lemon.
Encourage diners to dip, drizzle or completely enrobe the crusted asparagus with the aioli.
The combo is mouth-wateringly good!