Accidental Locavore Asparagus

This week the Accidental Locvore’s  farmbasket had two bunches of asparagus, a box of peas, radishes, mesclun, and some sprigs of sage that have already begun to flower (way ahead of mine).
However, there was also a note from Paul, saying that he thought it was the last week for asparagus. Too bad! I’ve barely begun to get into them. Still haven’t grilled them tossed in mayo and grilled, or shaved into a pizza or salad. And, not to be too fussy about them, but they were never very thick. Pencil thin asparagus are fine, but I really like mine a little beefy. The ultimate beefy asparagus were always at L’Ami Louis in Paris. They cost as much as the fois gras, but they were magnificent. We were there one night a long time ago, and a very pregnant woman was truly enjoying a plate of them. Her friends kept asking her to share them, but she was having no part of that. My husband, and every other man in the room, was trying not to stare…

I digress, this was supposed to be about peas and  radishes. The peas are a little problematic, because they were so delicious, I ate most of them raw on the way home. So let’s hope there are more of them on the way. As for the radishes, I always feel really guilty cutting off the tops and tossing them. At the Taste of the Hudson Valley demonstration on Saturday at the Culinary Institute (affectionately known in theses parts as the CIA), Chef Robert told me I could use them as salad greens, so the next salad gets a big handful of radish greens. Have any of you used radish greens?


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Recipe: My Dad’s No Fail Mayo

by Anne Maxfield on May 3, 2010

Accidental Locavore MayoThe Accidental Locavore never buys mayonnaise anymore because it’s so easy to make, and once you’ve had homemade mayo, you’re spoiled for life. The only downside (if there could possibly be one) is that, like ice cream, you learn exactly what’s in it. As Kerry, chef from one of my favorite restaurants, Cafe Miranda would say it’s an extremely efficient fat delivery system…but yummy!
My dad taught me a long time ago how to make mayo, so here is his no-fail mayo. This makes about a cup.

  • 1 egg yolk (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar of your choosing)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • (optional: 1 small clove of garlic, herbs like tarragon etc.)
  • About 1 cup canola or any vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

Accidental Locavore MayonnaiseIn the bowl of a food processor (blender, or stick blender will work) add the egg yolk, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, garlic and salt. Process a few times until well mixed. With the motor running, very slowly pour in about a cup of oil. You need to be patient or the mayo will separate. As you keep pouring you will see it start to thicken and then thin out a little. When it’s your desired texture, stop, and taste. Correct seasonings and you’re done. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Once you’ve had homemade mayo and realize how easy it is to make, you’ll never buy it again. The other advantage is that you can add whatever seasonings-herbs, garlic, spices, you want. Tarragon is great in it, especially for chicken salad. We usually add a small clove of garlic and I like it a little lemony. And after you’ve made it a few times, you can give hollandaise sauce, aioli and remoulade a try. The secret to any of these is to get an emulsion so always add the oil in a slow stream.