Asparagus with lemon mayonnaise

Spanish asparagus has been available in the shops since mid-January, but I prefer to wait for the English variety; its season runs from early May until the end of June. Here they are served with a simple mayonnaise, whose sharp and unctuous consistency works beautifully with the sweet flavour of spring asparagus.

3 egg yolks
The juice of one lemon
A little sea salt and black pepper
150ml/5fl oz mild extra-virgin olive oil
8 asparagus spears per person

Place the egg yolks into a blender with the lemon juice and a little salt and pepper and combine.

Slowly pour the oil through the funnel in the top with the blender running, drip by drip, until it is amalgamated, forming the mayonnaise. Set aside while you cook the asparagus.

Place a large pot of well-salted water on to boil. Snap off the base of the asparagus using your hands.

Once the water has reached a rolling boil, drop the asparagus in and cook for two minutes. Drain in a colander and season with a little salt and pepper and a teaspoon or so of olive oil.

Arrange on four plates and place a dollop of the mayonnaise on the side. This is just as good whether it's served warm or at room temperature.