Asparagus & Hollandaise Sauce

Another from the Valentine’s Day, 2006 issue.

In 19th-century France, bridegrooms were fed three courses of asparagus because of its reputation for igniting passions.

Steam asparagus just until tender (less than 10 minutes). Serve topped with Hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise Sauce

3 egg yolks
Butter, 2 sticks, melted, cooled to room temperature
Lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
Salt, ½ teaspoon
Cayenne pepper, dash

In the upper section of the double boiler (before heating) stir egg yolks with a wire whisk until well-blended. Do not beat. Heat water in the bottom section to a simmer, constantly stirring the egg yolks. When the eggs become thick (like heavy cream) add butter while stirring. Add lemon juice while stirring. Remove from heat and add salt and cayenne. If the sauce separates don’t throw it out! Pour it into another container, clean the top of your double boiler, and start over using the sauce you have already made in place of the egg yolks.


  1. A lot of people are afraid to eat Hollandaise sauce if they have high cholesterol. Do you know if there is a way to substitue ingredients and make it \”heart healthy?\” We like asparagus and would enjoy eating it with a healthful sauce.

  2. If the egg yolks are a concern, you can stop worrying about it. There are a lot of misconceptions about eggs and cholesterol. Eating whole eggs (instead of just the whites) can actually improve your cholesterol profile. The good cholesterol wins out over the bad, which is what you want.Plus, most of the nutrients in the egg are in the yolk, not the white!I am going to guess that the real concern is the massive amount of butter. For those who do not know this, you should always choose real butter over margarine! Margarine is full of trans fat. Trans fat is what you need to watch out for. So, in a way, this recipe is already \”susbtituting\” with heart healthy ingredients, but so many people default to margarine as it is.However, you could simply use less butter and still get a good sauce. In fact, a higher egg yolk ratio would probably produce a richer, more flavorful sauce (if you use good eggs, anyway).On the other hand, Hollandaise sauce is a bit of a pain to make. If you want to eat apsaragus more often and don\’t feel like fooling with making sauce there is an easier and lighter alternative.After you put the asparagus in the steamer basket, before you turn on the heat, place some pats of butter and some spices (whatever you like!) on top of the aspargus and splash it with a bit of lemon juice.When it has finished steaming you will have a tasty sauce in the bottom of the pan that you can spoon over the veggies (this works well with brussels sprouts and other steamed vegetables, too).

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