Blanched asparagus with tarragon sauce is the perfect side dish with steak, salmon, and poultry. Make this recipe to serve for the holidays!
Talk about AMAZING. This recipe is out of this world good, and SO quick and easy to make. Literally, it takes just fifteen minutes to cook the veg AND make the creamy mustard sauce!
The asparagus sauce reminds me of a French bearnaise, and for extra flavor, we top it with pan fried prosciutto and a chopped egg. It looks and tastes fancy… like it belongs in a 5-star restaurant.
The thing is, nobody but you will realize that it’s so effortless to make!
Or, try a simple broccoli salad with tarragon dressing and roasted pumpkin seeds. It’s great as a side dish and even better as leftovers the next day!
Blanched Asparagus with Tarragon Sauce
This is beyond simple to make! Just cook the vegetables until tender, then top them with a homemade mustard sauce.
Don’t forget to crisp the prosciutto and boil eggs for the topping! If you’re not quite sure how to hard boil eggs, check out my egg salad sandwich post for instructions.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is just a partial list, with primary ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Asparagus spears – These usually come in a bundle, but be sure to inspect all of the stalks. They should be firm to the touch and have a smooth texture, with the tips being closed and compact. Avoid any asparagus that looks limp or wilted.
- Dijon-style mustard – The importance here is the tangy, earthy flavor so stone-ground or spicy brown mustard will make a great substitute as needed.
- Apple cider vinegar – White wine vinegar can be used instead.
- Lemon juice – Fresh is always preferred, especially in simple recipes where the acidity and brightness plays a big role in the finished flavor.
- Prosciutto – If you’re not familiar with this, it’s thinly sliced cured ham with a wonderful salty flavor. Because of the curing process, you can enjoy it uncooked on its own, as a garnish, or wrapped around other ingredients.
How to blanch asparagus
Clean: First, trim off the bottoms of the stalks and rinse well in cool water.
Bring water to a boil. Add water to a saucepan that’s wide enough to fit the vegetables, then bring it to a boil on the stove.
Tip: Adding salt at the beginning causes the water to take longer to boil. Instead, add the salt once the bubbles appear, then give it another minute or two to come to a full boil.
Blanch: Place the asparagus in the pan and cook until crisp-tender, meaning you can pierce a stalk with a fork but they aren’t fully soft.
Drain: Then, drain and serve immediately. Or, plunge into an ice bath for a minute or two if your sauce isn’t quite ready.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CREAMY MUSTARD SAUCE:
- Cook the shallot. Melt some of the butter in a pan, then saute the chopped shallot until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add some flavor. Stir in the spices. Then, combine the mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice in the pan with a whisk.
- Finish and serve. After about a minute, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the mayo. Continue to stir until smooth and warmed through.
- Storage: Cooked asparagus will keep for 5-7 days in the refrigerator. The asparagus sauce, however, should be used within 3 days for best results.
Keep both in sealed containers, either together or separately depending on how soon you’ll be using them.
- Reheating: Warm the asparagus by itself in a pan on the stove, then add some sauce to the same pan. Heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t separate.
- Perfect hard boiled eggs: Add eggs to a pan in a single layer and cover with cold water. A pinch of salt or a splash of vinegar can prevent cracks and make them easier to peel.
Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and cover the pan with a lid. Let sit for 10-12 minutes, then rinse in cold water or transfer to an ice bath before peeling.
Asparagus and Tarragon Sauce
- 1 1/2 lbs asparagus spears
- 2 tbsp butter (separated)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped shallot (1 medium)
- 1 tbsp dried tarragon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp Dijon-style mustard
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 4 oz prosciutto torn or cut into 2×1-inch pieces
- 2 hard boiled eggs finely chopped
- Snap off and discard woody ends from asparagus.
- In a small saucepan melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot; cook and stir about 2 minutes or until softened.
- Stir in the tarragon, kosher salt, and pepper. Whisk in the mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice. Cook for a minute and remove from heat. Whisk in the mayonnaise. Heat through, stirring frequently. Cover and keep warm.
- In a medium skillet heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto pieces and cook about 2 to 4 minutes or until just crisp and golden, turning once halfway through cooking time. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.
- Transfer asparagus to a serving platter. Spoon the tarragon sauce over asparagus spears and sprinkle with prosciutto and chopped eggs.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.