Talk about gilding the lily. Wonderful new asparagus sprouting up in the garden, full of flavor, makes its annual appearance now, and for a few weeks we regale ourselves on it. Asparagus picked just a few moments earlier, gently steamed or lightly sautéed in butter and olive oil, really needs nothing more added. It is the height of luxury to dribble hollandaise sauce on it, and that is easy to do with this recipe for making the sauce in a blender.
A mix of melted butter, egg yolk, lemon juice and salt, hollandaise works with most green vegetables, fish, chicken, even steak. Of course, you can mix it by hand with a whisk, working quickly and steadily. With a blender the process is a whiz, taking only the time needed to melt butter and assemble ingredients in the blender.
The first time I had this was a good 45 years ago, when my childhood best friend Nancy made it for a dinner we shared; at the time I thought we were pretty sophisticated eating hollandaise. Later, I found the recipe in a copy of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook given to me probably in the early 1970s. I use the recipe periodically, and always during asparagus season.
Right now, I don’t have a blender with variable speeds. I use a food processor and a stick blender. So to make the hollandaise I whisked the egg yolks, lemon juice and salt together briskly, then added the hot melted butter continuing to whisk, then finished it off with the stick blender. Easy.
Since the recipe calls for yolks, you’ll have three egg whites to be creative with. There is always meringue. Or you can beat them up and fold them into pancakes or waffles, or add them to the eggs in the next frittata.
There was a little hollandaise leftover. I might make myself a faux Eggs Benedict for breakfast — egg over easy on a thin slice of ham stacked on a piece of toast with the sauce poured over. Of course the stuff is so darn good you might be tempted to finish it off, slurped up from a soup bowl.
Yields about 1 cup
½ cup or one stick butter
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Melt the butter.
Put the yolks, lemon juice and salt into a blender and blend them together at a low speed.
Add the hot butter to the blender on a low speed at first. When it is all combined, briefly blend at a medium speed for half a minute.