Spanish asparagus has been available in the shops since mid-January, but waiting for the English variety is so much more satisfying – not unlike the wait for British strawberries. I serve it here 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 as per the first recipe.
Once cooked, 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.