Blanched asparagus with garlic aioli is a delightful dish that you can whip up in just 15 minutes. It serves as the perfect side dish for a variety of main courses, such as roasted lamb kabobs, hawawshi minced meat pita sandwiches, kafta burgers, chicken tawook, and slow-roasted lamb shanks. With its simplicity and versatility, this recipe is a must-have for your meal prep or family gatherings.
What Makes This Recipe Special
What I love about this recipe is its simplicity and deliciousness. You can customize the amount of garlic in the aioli sauce, allowing you to achieve your desired flavor intensity. This dish is perfect whether you prefer a light dip or a generous coating of the aioli. It’s an easy recipe to prepare in advance or to enjoy with loved ones.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Asparagus: Use fresh asparagus with thin or thick stalks. I recommend the 2.25 lb package from Costco for this recipe.
- Mayonnaise: Any type of mayonnaise works well.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves will give the best flavor.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice adds a tangy kick to the aioli.
- Olive oil: I recommend using Californian or Greek extra virgin olive oil.
For specific quantities, refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this article.
How to Prepare Blanched Asparagus and Garlic Aioli
This recipe consists of two parts: blanching the asparagus and making the garlic aioli. I recommend preparing the asparagus first and allowing it to cool before serving. However, if you prefer hot asparagus, you can start with the garlic aioli.
Blanching the Asparagus
- Wash the asparagus spears and cut off the ends.
- In a wide pot with a lid, bring about 2″ (5 cm) of water to a boil.
- Using a slotted spoon, lower ⅓ of the asparagus spears into the boiling water.
- Cover the pot with a lid and boil for approximately 30 seconds to a minute, or until the asparagus stalks change color.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the blanched asparagus to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Repeat the process with the remaining asparagus spears.
Making the Garlic Aioli
- Mash the garlic cloves, salt, and pepper using a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, you can use a garlic press and add salt and pepper to the pressed garlic.
- Add the mayonnaise and lemon juice to the mashed garlic mixture.
- Mix well with a spoon.
- Gradually add the olive oil while continuing to mix until fully blended.
Serve the garlic aioli with the blanched asparagus and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- Use a wide pot with a lid that can accommodate the asparagus spears. As they will reduce in length after trimming, ensure that the pot is wider than the spears.
- Remove the asparagus from the boiling water as soon as you notice a change in color. The raw asparagus will turn to a darker shade of green when blanched.
- To achieve a smooth and well-blended aioli sauce, crush the garlic into a paste-like texture using a mortar and pestle or a garlic press. Avoid chopping the garlic, as it may leave chunks in the sauce.
Variations and Substitutions
- If you prefer a milder garlic flavor, you can reduce the amount of garlic in the aioli. Feel free to adjust according to your taste preferences.
- For some added spice, consider mixing in a small amount of chili oil with the garlic aioli.
Equipment You’ll Need
To prepare this dish, you’ll need a few essential kitchen tools:
- Chef’s knife and cutting board for trimming the asparagus.
- Mortar and pestle or garlic press to mash the garlic.
- Lemon squeezer for extracting fresh lemon juice.
- Mixing bowl to blend the garlic aioli.
- Wide pot with a lid for blanching the asparagus.
Store the blanched asparagus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Keep the garlic aioli separate in another airtight container, also refrigerated, for up to 4 days. Freezing is not recommended for either the blanched asparagus or the garlic aioli.
Blanched asparagus with garlic aioli is a quick and delicious dish that complements various main courses. With its simplicity and customizable flavors, it’s sure to become a go-to recipe for both family meals and gatherings. Enjoy this delightful side dish and elevate your dining experience with BDK Restaurant!