Asparagus with paprika aioli

  • Asparagus 
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100ml olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 110g firm but not hard butter
  • 1 preserved lemon, halved and deseeded
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • 3 bundles of asparagus
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crusty bread, to serve


Prep time: 15-20 mins Cook time: 5 mins Serves: 6

1. Put the egg yolks in a bowl and beat with a balloon whisk or electric beater to break down the yolks.

2. Drizzle a small amount of the olive oil and vegetable oil onto the egg yolks and whisk in, adding a bit more, little by little, until the mixture forms and emulsion. As soon as it has thickened and looks glossy, you can add the oil in slightly bigger quantities. Take care not to add too much in one go or the mixture will separate.

3. Finely chop the preserved lemon and add to the mayonnaise with the paprika, garlic, lemon zest and juice. Fold everything together and season with salt to taste. 

4. Prepare the asparagus by trimming about 1cm of the stalk from each end. Use a vegetable peeler and, starting from the end, peel off about 2.5cm.

5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the asparagus for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Drain well, toss in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

6. Arrange the asparagus on six starter plates, spoon the aioli into a bowl to have alongside, and serve with crusty bread.

Editor's note: In May asparagus is best in season and a great time to taste some fresh British-grown produce. There's nothing to beat the taste of English asparagus tossed in butter and seasoning and served with a squeeze of lemon. This recipe transforms it into a sublime starter, ideal for spring dinner parties!

Find this recipe and more in the Ideal Home Show Cookbook.


Our top picks

Ideal Home Show London
Ideal Home Show Scotland