I have taken a recent shine to mayonnaise. Well, I suppose it's fairer to say I've taken a closer look at this most tasty sauce.
I confess I have spent most of my life looking at this wonder as little more than a condiment for my BLTs. Once I began examining French cuisine more closely, I commensurately began realizing how important this sauce would become in the near future. I guess you could classify me at the time as mayo-curious.
If you are not intimately familiar with mayo (Heather, you are excused from this discussion. You may put your head down on your desk, or go to the cafeteria for a frozen fruit pop,) it is classified as a cold emulsified sauce comprising egg yolks, blended oils, and flavorings such as mustard, herbs, wine vinegar, et cetera.
As for the best mayo going, I can't begin to speculate. I can tell you, however, this mayonnaise was superb for the recipe below. It's important to note, however, that most hard-core cooking references will tell you to keep it room-temperature. I, however, am not so brave. Yet.
Asparagus with Mayonnaise Verte
1 1/2 pounds trimmed asparagus (white is ok, but green is more visually impactful here.)
1/2 cup Italian parsely, chopped
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice to taste
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste (after experimenting a little, Tellicherry large-grain crushed is best.)
2 tbsp. verjus (juice from unripened fruit, and can be ordered here.)
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Herbs de Provence to taste
Blanch asparagus for one minute. Remove from water and place in ice bath to arrest cooking. Drain well and pat dry. (Asparagus can be made up to one day ahead, store in sealed bag in refridgerator, let them come up to room temperature before serving.)
Mix the parsely, oil, lemon juice, verjus, mustard, and herbs in a food processor. Pulse until well-mixed and smooth. Fold over into mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve aside the asparagus.
This is great with any dish sauteed in butter. I wouldn't suggest mixing it with dishes in cream sauces or red sauces; the mayonnaise is delicious as the only sauce on the plate. Plus, it's flavor is extremely delicate and can be overpowered easily. We ate it with a pork tenderloin glazed with peaches and ginger. It worked well as the only side dish. (We had some cheeses as well, but nothing else, save for the three bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.)