Mary Anne here. Asparagus can be prepared the day before to save time. The Orange Aioli can be prepared up to four days before, or at least several hours before serving. The flavors deepen over time.
3 lbs. fresh asparagus – $5.99
2 cups mayonnaise – from stock
5 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed orange juice (or more to taste) – $2.69
1 Tbsp. grated orange zest – $0.69
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, or 3 Tablespoons dried – $1.49
Grand Total assuming stocked kitchen: $12.49
Cost per Serving: $1.24
Directions for Asparagus:
1. Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus.
2. Bring a large kettle of water to boil. Toss in the asparagus spears, fully immersing.
3. Stir once to cover all asparagus, and cook just until the vegetable turns bright green, and is still crisp, less than 3 minutes.
4. Working quickly, drain asparagus into colander and run cold water over stalks to halt the cooking process. Continue tossing under cold water until each piece is completely cooled.
5. Drain and pat dry.
6. Transfer to a zip-lock bag, packed with loose paper towels to absorb any lingering moisture. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Directions for Orange Aioli:
1. Combine the mayonnaise, orange juice, and orange zest in a small bowl.
2. Fold in fresh parsley.
3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use – I recommend at least four hours.
4. When ready to serve, arrange asparagus on a platter. With a pastry bag, drizzle mayonnaise in a decorative fashion across the chilled asparagus. Garnish with cherry tomato halves and parsley leaves, if desired.
*Note: You don’t have to buy a pastry bag to drizzle decoratively! Just spoon the Orange Aioli into a plastic baggie, snip off a small piece from one of the bottom corners and squeeze the mayonnaise in squiggles over the asparagus.