Asparagus with Mayonnaise

Asparagus with Mayonnaise

By Signora Marca. 


This recipe is the result of one vivid memory of Cristiano’s childhood neighbor, "Signora Marca" (Mrs Marca), who used to make mayonnaise from scratch and pair it with vegetables such as asparagus or insalata russa.


Enjoy with a typical Piedmontese dish on tour with us in Piedmont, or try making it at home!

Cheerful warning: This recipe can be hit or miss and is, so often, that the Italians have an expression La maionese impazzisce ("The mayonnaise goes crazy") for when the egg and oil refuse to bind.


Ingredients for homemade mayonnaise for 4 people (~6 Tbsp):

  • 2 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of EVOO 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice or adjust to taste


  • Separate egg yolks from whites (you can use the whites for something else such as merengue, a cake, or a frittata)
  • Vigorously stir the first egg yolk (leave the other one off to the side) with a spoon, maintaining the same direction, while slowly pouring in a few drops of EVOO
  • When the egg yolk begins to bind, keep stirring, while pouring in a few more drops of EVOO until the mixture starts to thicken
  • At this point, one of two things will happen: the mayo either "goes crazy" and refuses to bind or it begins to thicken. Either way, keep going. All is not necessarily lost...
  • Either way, put the second egg yolk into a second bowl and start to stir it while adding 1/2 Tbsp of the first "mixture" into it
  • After a minute or so, the second yolk and the first mixture should start to bind. When this happens, continue adding the first mixture, 1/2 Tbsp at a time, all the while stirring, until all of the first mixture has been added
  • Add a small amount of lemon juice and keep adding EVOO, which emulsifies and expands the mixture, until you reach the desired quantity
  • Adjust to taste with salt, lemon, and pepper
  • Store in the fridge and be sure to use within a few days

Ingredients for asparagus for 4 people: 

  • 1 pound asparagus


  • Trim the tough bottoms off the asparagus stalks (to conserve, we add these lower bits to soup)
  • Boil the asparagus standing up, so only the stalk ends are submerged (to ensure even cooking with the delicate tips being steamed from below)
  • When done, set aside to cool
  • Serve asparagus with mayonnaise as a dipping sauce

Buon appetito!




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