Few things transport you to Spain like the aromas of Asparagus with Smoked Alioli. Smoked paprika is a flavour so indicative of Spanish cuisine and we make perfect use of it in this beautifully simple side dish.
I love Alioli any time of day on anything and everything! My favourite is smothered over a Tortilla Española (potato & tuna omelette) or drizzled over a 'straight off the grill' Spanish chicken skewer.
This alioli takes on all the smoky loveliness of paprika while still shouting "garlic!" which is the important thing! It marries beautifully with the aromatic earthiness of the simply cooked asparagus.
I wanted a more umami flavour with this sauce, so to really pack a whack of flavour I added anchovy paste AND mustard. Anchovy paste is a great way to create depth and complexity of flavour and the mustard adds even more layers in the background.
To round everything off, I added a sweet and sour taste of Spain, some sherry vinegar. This acidic element lifts the flavour from great to GLORIOUS!
When you try it, I'm sure you'll agree my Asparagus with Smoked Alioli, is an earthy, punchy, creamy delight!
How to make my Asparagus with Smoked Alioli
- Cook the asparagus for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, then plunge into ice water to cool. Remove onto paper towels to drain when cold.
- Crush the garlic with salt in a pestle & mortar or with the side of your kitchen knife into a paste.
- Whisk together with the egg yolk, anchovy paste, mustard, garlic, paprika.
- Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and beat until the liquid emusifies and thickens a little. Beat in a further 2 spoons of oil and repeat. You can now pour in a thin stream of oil as you whisk to ensure the mixture doesn't separate. The mix should be creamy like mayonnaise!
- Add the sherry vinegar and about 2-3 Tablespoons of water to thin out the alioli a little so that it just becomes pourable.
- Arrange the asparagus on a platter and pour over some of the dressing. Serve with the dressing on the side should you want a little more!
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