Asparagus with Lime Hollandaise

3:02 am on 28 October 2007


  • asparagus (quantity to suit appetites)
  • ⅓ - ½ C butter
  • ¼ C lime juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • a dash of white pepper or kelp powder


Wash the asparagus spears in water to clean any soil from the tips. Remove the bottoms by bending the spears; they will snap at the natural breaking point.

Put asparagus in 2 - 3cm of salted water in a wide pan with a cover and steam for three to five minutes.  Rinse immediately under cool water to stop the cooking and preserve the bright green colour.

In a saucepan, melt the butter.  Take it off the heat and stir in the lime juice.  Add the yolk and whisk.

Return to a moderate low heat and whisk until thickening occurs. Take the saucepan off the heat and use fairly soon - it’s temperamental and doesn’t like waiting.

If the sauce starts to split while heating, flick in a teaspoon of ice-cold water - that will often make it change its mind. Or add another egg yolk and keep stirring.

You can also use half olive oil and half butter. You get a slightly thinner sauce and it’s definitely less rich, so maybe you could enjoy it more often with less guilt.

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