Crispy Asparagus with Saffron-Garlic Mayonnaise

Fresh asparagus is always a delight, and when I saw this beautiful bunch at the store, I immediately grabbed it.I decided to roast it with a crispy topping, and serve it with a tasty, bright yellow saffron-garlic mayonnaise. This colorful and tasty combination is wonderful when served as a first course, as a side dish for grilled fish or meat, or as a part of a brunch buffet. Try it and enjoy.

* Contrary to common belief, mayonnaise is very easy to make. As long as you keep a few things in mind, success is guaranteed: 1) the ingredients have to be at room temperature, 2) make sure to add the lemon and mustard to the egg yolks right from the start, as they help the emulsifying process.
* I like my mayonnaise thick and “heavy”, and so use less oil and more egg yolks than in most mayonnaise recipes. If you prefer a lighter mayonnaise, this is not the recipe for you.
* The mayonnaise can keep, in an airtight container in the fridge, for 3 days.
* As with any food that contains raw eggs, it’s best not to give it to anyone who may have a weak immune system.

Makes: 8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

For the mayonnaise:
About 8 saffron threads
1 Tbs warm water
2 L egg yolks
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
½ cup Safflower oil
¼ cup olive oil
For the asparagus:
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp red Alaea Hawaiian salt (or any other, as long as it’s not very fine)
1/3 cup dried shallots
½ tsp freshly ground 4 pepper mix
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 bunch asparagus (about 20 each)
2 egg whites, lightly whisked

1. The mayonnaise: in a small bowl, mix the saffron threads with the warm water. Let steep for a minute.
2. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt and the saffron, in a small food processor bowl. Whisk briefly and add half the amount of oil. Whisk again and add the rest of the oil. Whisk again just until a thick mayonnaise is formed. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge until using.
3. The asparagus: preheat the oven to 420F (215C). Line a large cookie sheet pan with baking paper.
4. Cut off about 1” (2.5cm) of the asparagus ends. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the lower part, up to about half the size. (No need to do that if you’re using thin asparagus).
5. Place in a large pan, in one layer, and add ¼ cup water. Cover the pan and let steam on high heat for about two minutes, until the asparagus is bright green, tender but still firm. Dry gently with paper towels. Coat with the egg whites and place in the pan, in one layer.

6. Mix the bread crumbs, salt, dried shallots, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Scatter over the asparagus, mostly over the lower part.

7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the topping is crispy. Serve warm, with the mayonnaise.

53 thoughts on “Crispy Asparagus with Saffron-Garlic Mayonnaise

  1. judilyn says:

    Many years ago, my hairdresser lived across the street from me – he cut my hair in his living room, and I kept them supplied with homemade mayonnaise! Now I use refrigerated Marie’s Cole Slaw dressing for the few instances where mayonnaise would be needed. A 12-ounce jar lasts a lot longer than the expiry date, so I’ve given up making my own. Besides the commercial stuff has just the right amount of too much lemon! I mix it with various other ingredients for an ad hoc dip for whatever seems appropriate. I’m still working on duplicating Sweet French.

    Virtual hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      That sounds like a good barter!
      I don’t use mayonnaise much, and usually rely on good old Hellman’s mayonnaise. But the homemade version is such a treat. Whenever I make it I question why I don’t make it more often.
      Glad you’ve found your favorite one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tracey O'Brien says:

    Ronit, I’m salivating! There is something so decadent about homemade mayonnaise. I love your version with the saffron – what an incredible colour! Will have to try. Looks delicious with the asparagus but I imagine this gorgeous mayonnaise would make just about anything taste better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Tracey, I’m glad you liked the recipes. You’re right, homemade mayonnaise is a real treat. This one indeed goes well with many other foods: I love it with grilled meats or fish, fresh Crudités, in sandwiches… It doesn’t keep for long in my fridge! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Judi, I’m glad you liked the recipe. The saffron adds an intense, wonderful flavor, on top of the color. It goes so well with green vegetables. Green beans will work well, as well as broccoli or broccolini, if you have them. Hope you’ll enjoy it too. 🙂


  3. skd says:

    I have made mayo many times before.But the idea of adding saffron strands never struck me. i am sure it turns out very aromatic and flavorful. i am bookmarking this recipe. thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Adele Pile says:

    Another great migraine trigger free recipe. Thank you so much for demystifying mayonnaise because when you make your own you know it’s trigger free. I can’t wait to try this when asparagus comes in season here. Only a few short weeks away. 💜💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mauigirlcooks says:

    I will make this the next time we have asparagus. My husband taught me to eat mayonnaise on asparagus (& broccoli) years ago, but I never put saffron in my mayonnaise, which I always make from scratch. I have some lovely saffron so will try this soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Sharon, I’m glad you liked the recipe. I like to flavor Mayonnaise with different seasonings, and saffron is one of my favorites. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well. I’ll be happy to hear your comments.. 🙂


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