A classic side dish that makes a great accompaniment to a protein forward and simple meal. This roasted asparagus is done in minutes and topped with an easy to make flavorful sauce.
When it comes to side dishes for many of my meals this is one of my favorites to make. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly it is easy to make and tastes great. The second is that it is a simple side dish to make that is great with steak, chicken, and fish. Another plus is that it takes only 15 minutes or so to make this side dish so it is great for those that don’t have much time also you can easily double this recipe for meal prep.
In this recipe
This recipe is super simple and is one of the reasons that I love this dish. Asparagus, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon, butter and egg yolks. All of these ingredients are easily accessible and I am sure all of them right now are in your refrigerator or pantry with the exception of the asparagus. It is important to make sure that the butter is clarified. This will make for the best hollandaise sauce once it starts mixing.
Making the roasted asparagus
The asparagus just takes a quick preparation. The first thing you want to make sure is to cut off the woody bottoms of the asparagus. This part of the asparagus is tough and does not contain a lot of flavor. I will cut it to where the asparagus is a rich green color. Some of the stalks might not need a lot of trimming and others you might be cutting off almost a third of the stalk. Also depending on the thickness of the stalks you will want to pay attention to the cooking time. Thinner asparagus will cook in as little as 5 minutes.
Using clarified butter when cooking and making sauces is incredibly useful. The process of clarifying the butter removed the milk solids and this allows the butter to cook at a much high heat without burning. One of things I used to hate about clarifying butter was that it would take forever.
A tip to reduce the time is to melt the butter and place it into a plastic bag. Then you turn the bag so all the butter goes into a corner. Place the corner in a bath of ice water and put in the refrigerator until it is solid. Take out the bag and over the sink cut the corner and let all of the milk solids run out. Then rinse the butter off with cold water to remove the remaining milk solids and there you go. It is easier to do this with a whole pound of butter.
Always whisk the hollandaise
One of the things you will want to do is make sure that you are always whisking the egg yolk mixture. You are creating an emulsion like mayonnaise so you will always want to keep mixing to make sure the fat gets evenly distributed without creating large blobs. When heating the egg yolks you will be taking them off the heat several times. The constant whisking and removing from the heat will help prevent the yolks from scrambling.
There is a difference between broken and ruined. A ruined sauce is when the egg yolks have actually cooked and look like scrambled eggs. A broken sauce however can be fixed. A broken sauce is one that has separated into different parts. You will see the fat come out of the sauce. To fix this whisk an additional egg yolk with water over simmering water and slowing add the broken sauce to it. Keep whisking and the sauce should come back together.
To help prevent the sauce from breaking make sure that you don’t over cook the eggs and also slowly add the butter to the sauce. The butter does not have to go in a steady stream add a little at a time and whisk. If you don’t want to whisk by hand you have use a hand or stand mixer to accomplish this as well.
Looking for other asparagus recipes?
Roasted Asparagus with Hollandaise
- Metal mixing bowl
- Sheet pan
- 1 pound asparagus wooden ends removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter clarified, kept warm and liquid
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper optional
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, 200°C, or gas mark 6.
- Place the asparagus on the sheet pan and then toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
Making the hollandaise sauce
- While the asparagus is roasting fill a saucepan with about an inch of water and bring to a boil on high heat.
- While the water is heating whisk the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the metal mixing bowl.
- Once the water is boiling place the bowl on top of the saucepan making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk continuously until the mixture becomes a light pale color. You will need to remove to bowl from the heat several times to keep the egg yolks from cooking. This will take about 2½ minutes of whisking on and off the heat.
- Once the mixture is a pale yellow remove from the heat a final time and whisk in the lemon juice and salt. Then slowly pour in the clarified butter continuously whisking. Keep whisking until all of the butter has been added. You should have a pale yellow sauce whisk in pepper if you are using it.
- Remove the asparagus from the oven and serve topped with the hollandaise sauce.