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Asparagus with Gribiche Dressing

Asparagus with Gribiche Dressing

Gribiche dressing is a French condiment made with hard-boiled eggs and flavorful garnishes such as cornichons and capers. It’s the perfect dressing for fresh spring asparagus!

Asparagus with Gribiche Dressing // FoodNouveau.com

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When March rolls around every year, I keep my eyes peeled to spot the first bunches of asparagus to appear at the market. To me, the bright green stalks are like a signpost: spring this way! Asparagus are so versatile, too: I enjoy eating them crisp and raw, sliced super thinly and used as a topping for a tartine; sauteed and incorporated into a stir-fry; incorporated into classic weekend brunch dishes such as Eggs Benedict or Breakfast Pizza; or used as a topping for a lunch bowl.

But my favorite way to serve fresh spring asparagus is one that puts the vegetable front and center: I simply steam the stalks and dress them with a classic French hard-boiled egg dressing called sauce gribiche. Gribiche dressing is made very much like mayonnaise, with the major difference being that you use hard-boiled eggs instead of fresh ones. The dressing is then enhanced with chunky flavorings that include gherkins, capers, and fresh herbs.

Gribiche dressing is a completely irresistible condiment that is the perfect companion to crisp-tender asparagus. Serve this impressive, yet easy French dish for a luxurious brunch, alongside smoked salmon and some fresh, crusty bread.

Asparagus with Gribiche Dressing // FoodNouveau.com

How can you serve gribiche dressing?

You can serve this dish the classic way: set the asparagus on a plate and spoon the gribiche sauce on top. You can also serve the dish as a tartine, by grilling or toasting large slices of sourdough bread, pilling some asparagus on top, and generously topping with gribiche dressing.

But don’t stop there: gribiche dressing is also a delightful condiment for roasted or boiled baby potatoes, grilled or broiled fish (especially salmon), or even grilled pork.

How to make gribiche dressing: a French condiment made with hard-boiled eggs // FoodNouveau.com

Can you make gribiche dressing ahead of time?

Gribiche dressing does not keep very well and is at its very best when it’s freshly made. Upon refrigeration, the dressing is likely to separate, and the oil will solidify. You can stir it back together, but by doing so, the chunky pieces of hard-boiled egg will break into the dressing, which will slightly change the texture and look of the dressing. It’ll still be delicious, though!

For the best flavor, look, and texture, make only the quantity of dressing you need for one meal.

What can I do if my gribiche dressing separated? Help!

Although gribiche dressing will emulsify when you whisk the oil and mustard together, it will separate as it sits as any dressing would. Contrary to mayonnaise, in gribiche dressing, there isn’t an egg yolk to stabilize the emulsion. If your gribiche dressing separates, there’s nothing wrong with it! It’s just part of its charm :)

If you’d like a more stable dressing, you can remove the yolk from one of the hard-boiled eggs, mash it with a fork, then whisk it into the oil along with the vinegar and mustard. You can also blend the dressing using a hand mixer, which will help emulsify the dressing better thanks to its speed and power.

Sauté or grill the asparagus to switch things up

My recipe recommends blanching the asparagus, which is a super quick and easy technique to prep and cook the stalks for this recipe. For a change, you can also sauté the asparagus in a very hot, lightly oiled pan, or grill them on the barbecue. Keep in mind the cooking time for asparagus is very short: you only need to leave them on the heat for 1 to 2 minutes to reach a crisp-tender texture.

Asparagus with Gribiche Dressing // FoodNouveau.com

 
Asparagus with Gribiche Dressing // FoodNouveau.com

Asparagus with Gribiche Dressing

Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:12 mins
Cooling Time:20 mins
Servings 4 servings
Author Marie Asselin, FoodNouveau.com

Ingredients

For the asparagus

  • Lots of ice cubes
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus

For the Gribiche Dressing

Instructions

FOR THE ASPARAGUS

  • Fill a mixing bowl with cold water, then add plenty of ice cubes to make the water ice cold. (Make sure to keep a handful of ice cubes in the freezer to cool the eggs later on.)
  • Snap off or slice off the stringy ends of the asparagus and discard. Fill a pot that fit the asparagus with water, add a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a boil.
  • Add the asparagus and blanch for 1 minute. If the stalks are very thick, you can blanch for top to 1 minute and 30 seconds, whereas if they’re very thin, you can blanch for only 30 to 45 seconds. You want theasparagus to remain crisp-tender.
  • Use kitchen tongs to immediately transfer the asparagus to the ice water (this will stop the cooking and help retain the asparagus’ bright green color). Leave to cool completely, 5 to 10 minutes, then drain the asparagus, pat them dry, and set aside until ready to serve.
  • You can prepare the asparagus in advance: Once cool, drain and pat dry, then refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

FOR THE HARD-BOILED EGGS

  • Prepare a second small bowl of ice water. Gently place the two eggs in a small pot. Cover with water. Set over high heat and bring the water to a generous boil. Once the water boils, remove the pot from the heat, cover, and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the eggs, rinse under cold water for 1 minute, then transfer to ice water. Leave to cool completely, at least 10 minutes.
  • You can prepare the hard-boiled eggs in advance: After cooling the eggs in ice water, pat them dry and store in the fridge (with the shell on) for up to 2 days.

FOR THE GRIBICHE DRESSING

  • Peel the hard-boiled eggs. Chop the eggs: you can chop them finely to get a more cohesive dressing, or keep them chunky for visual appeal and a delicious texture. Set the chopped eggs aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the oil, vinegar and mustard. Whisk vigorously to emulsify the dressing. (The oil should fully combine with the vinegar and mustard, and not appear separate.) Add the gherkins, capers, salt, and pepper, and mix to combine. Add the chopped eggs and fresh herbs and very gently stir, just to coat the eggs with the dressing and seasonings. Taste the gribiche dressing and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can also add more gherkins, capers, and herbs to your liking.

SERVING

  • Set the asparagus on a large serving plate. Spoon the gribiche dressing over and serve immediately with crusty bread.
  • Alternatively, you can divide the asparagus between individual serving plates and spoon a bit of gribiche dressing over. Let your guests help themselves to more dressing if they want to.

Notes

Gherkins, or cornichons, are small and super-crunchy, with a taste that's unique and more acidic than classic dill pickles. They're a great addition to a charcuterie and cheese board, or as a side to any rich, cheese-based dish such as fondue or raclette. Maille is my go-to brand for cornichons.

Did you make this?

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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Cooling Time: 20 mins

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