Ready in 45 minutes
Hollandaise is the classic sauce for fresh asparagus, the combination of the two is always a special addition to a menu. This recipe is very easy and quick to make. It combines deliciously crisp tender asparagus with Hollandaise made with a blender instead of a whisk or whip. While Hollandaise is one of the most often used sauces, many people find it quite difficult to make. This blender method not only makes the process simple, but also produces an exceptional sauce that resist breaking!
Wash asparagus to remove any soil or sand.
Trim off bottom of stems by about 1 to 2 inches or snap-off the lower ends...hold the top half of a spear in one hand and grasp the bottom half with your other hand. Bend lightly and the tough lower end will snap off where it meets the more tender part of the spear.
Fresh asparagus can be eaten without peeling, but some people prefer it peeled. Peeling away the tougher skin near the bottom of the spears will help them cooking more evenly. To peel asparagus use a standard vegetable peeler and peel downward toward the base.
In a large skillet that can hold the spears without crowding, bring about 1/2 inch of water to a rapid boil. Season the water with salt and add the asparagus. Cook the asparagus until it is crisp tender. The amount of time needed will vary depending on how thick your asparagus stalks are and what your definition of crisp tender is. I use thin/medium asparagus and cook them for just 1-2 minutes. You may want to cook yours a little longer (2-3 minutes) or until the thick part of the stalks can be pierced with a knife. Drain the asparagus and set aside.
Prepare Blender Hollandaise Sauce:
Heat the blender container to temperature prior to making the sauce by filling with hot tap water and allow to sit until needed.
Clarify the butter by melting it in a small sauce pan, over a medium-high flame, until the butter foams, becomes clear and reaches 150 degrees F. Be careful not to burn the butter. Remove from heat. The butter will cool and should be approximately 140 degrees F. prior to blending.
When ready to prepare the sauce, pour the water out of blender. Into the blender combine egg yolks, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Blend the egg yolk mixture on high for several seconds until you have a smooth mixture. Either remove center cap of blender lid or carefully remove lid with blender still running. Pour the 140 degree butter into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream until all is incorporated and hollandaise sauce is formed. As sauce thickens add a teaspoon of hot water at a time to help prevent the sauce from thickening too much. The sauce should be light and fluffy. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with additional lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Pour Hollandaise Sauce over top of cooked Asparagus, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.
CAUTION #1 When hollandaise is made in a blender, the eggs do not cook. If you are wary of salmonella or raw eggs, this recipe is not for you. That said, a credible hollandaise can be made with pasteurized eggs.
CAUTION #2 Because of the raw eggs, leftovers should be refrigerated very promptly and used within one or two days.
To reheat, place Hollandaise in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl that fits snugly over a saucepan. Water in bottom pan should be hot, not boiling. Whisk sauce until heated. If sauce needs thinning, whisk in additional hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
For great light meal, I like to place the asparagus on top of a slice of toasted brioche and then drizzle with the hollandaise sauce and serve with a poached egg on top, Yuuuum!!!