Blanched asparagus with garlic aioli comes together in about 15 minutes. It's a perfect side dish for roasted lamb kabobs, hawawshi minced meat pita sandwiches, kafta burgers, chicken tawook, and slow-roasted lamb shanks.
Blanched asparagus is a quick way to prepare asparagus by parboiling raw asparagus spears. Serve with a garlicky lemon aioli dipping sauce that takes 5 minutes to whip up.
What I Love About This Recipe
I love how simple and delicious this recipe is. Depending on how much you like garlic, you can heavily dip or lightly dip the blanched asparagus in the aioli sauce. It's an excellent meal prep recipe or family gathering recipe.
- Asaparagus: I recommend fresh asparagus with either thin or thick stalks. The asparagus I bought for this recipe was the 2.25 lb package from Costco.
- Mayonnaise: Any type of mayonnaise works for this recipe.
- Garlic: I recommend using fresh garlic cloves for this recipe.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice makes the best garlic lemon aioli.
- Olive oil: I really like Californian extra virgin olive oil or Greek extra virgin olive oil.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for quantities.
How To Make Asparagus And Aioli
This blanched asparagus with garlic aioli is a two-part recipe. I prefer eating the asparagus once it's cooled off, so I make it first. If you prefer hot asparagus, make the garlic aioli first.
Blanch The Asparagus
Wash the asparagus spears. Cut the ends off of the asparagus spears. On the stovetop, boil 2" (5 cm) of water in a wide pot that has a lid. Once the water is boiling, lower ⅓ of the asparagus spears using a slotted spoon into the hot water.
Cover the wide pot with a lid. Boil for about 30 seconds to a minute until the asparagus stalks change colors.
Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining asparagus spears.
Make The Garlic Aioli
Mash the garlic, salt, and pepper using a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, use a garlic press and add salt and pepper to the pressed garlic.
Hint: Do not chop the garlic. It needs to be really thinly mashed in order to blend into the mayo aioli sauce.
Add the mayonnaise and lemon juice to the mashed garlic mixture. Mix well with a spoon.
Add the olive oil while continuing to mix with a spoon until fully blended.
Serve the garlic aioli with blanched asparagus.
Tips and Tricks
- Use a wide pot with a lid. The asparagus spears will reduce in length once you chop off the bottom 1.5". Make sure the pot is wider than the spears, so the asparagus can lay flat in the boiling water.
- Remove the asparagus when you see the change in colors. Raw asparagus (photo on the left) will turn to a darker color green (photo on the right) once it's blanched.
- Mash the garlic or use a garlic press. Don't use a knife to mince the garlic, because even with your ninja knife mincing skills, you will have chunks of garlic in the mayo aioli sauce. Unless that's what you are going for, I highly recommend crushing the garlic into a paste like texture so that it evenly blends into the aioli sauce.
Variations and Substitutions
- Reduce the amount of garlic. If you are not much of an intense garlic person, reduce the garlic. It's easy to add more garlic if needed.
- Add some chili oil to the garlic aioli for spice.
Using a chef's knife and cutting board, chop the ends off of the asparagus spears. Mash the garlic with salt using a mortar and pestle. Squeeze the lemon using a lemon squeezer. Blend the garlic aioli sauce in a bowl. Boil the asparagus in a wide pot with a lid.
Store the blanched asparagus in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Keep the garlic aioli separate in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. I don't recommend freezing either the blanched asparagus or the garlic aioli.
Yes, you can eat asparagus raw.
Asparagus is high in folic acid. Asparagus also contains potassium, fiber, thiamin, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.
Vegetable Side Dishes
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Blanched Asparagus With Garlic Aioli
- 2.2 lbs asparagus
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 garlic cloves mashed or crushed
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon about ¼ cup of lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste about ⅛ teaspoon each
Blanch the Asparagus
- Wash and chop the ends off of the asparagus (chop about 1.5" or 4 cm from the base).
- In a wide stovetop pot with a lid, bring 2" (5 cm) deep of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add ⅓ of the asparagus into the boiling water. Cover with a lid. Once the asparagus turns colors from a light green to a dark green (about 30 seconds to 1 minute), remove the asparagus using a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. See note 1.
- Add the second and third batches of asparagus in the same way until all of the asparagus is blanched. Set aside.
Make The Garlic Aoili
- Peel and mash the garlic cloves with salt and pepper. Mash the garlic very finely using a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, use a garlic press. See note 2.
- Cut the lemon in half and juice it. Remove any lemon seeds if necessary.
- Measure out the mayonnaise into a bowl. Add the mashed garlic and lemon juice. Using a spoon, continuously stir the mayonnaise while adding the olive oil. Continue stirring until all of the olive oil is mixed into the garlic aioli sauce.
- If desiring crunchy asparagus, blanch the asparagus for 30 seconds.
- Don't mince the garlic with a knife because the garlic chunks will not evenly disperse into the garlic aioli sauce.
- Use fresh garlic and fresh lemon juice for this garlic aioli sauce.