Warm Asparagus Salad With Toasted Walnut-Aioli Dressing

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Warm Asparagus Salad With Toasted Walnut-Aioli Dressing

Chef Joanne Weir

Cookbook author, teacher and owner of Copita

Sausalito, Calif.

Although asparagus are now available at other times of the year, they are still the quintessential springtime vegetable. Chef, cookbook author and restaurateur Joanne Weir coaxes out their flavor and texture through roasting, then topping them with a garlicky walnut aioli. Hard-cooked eggs add color contrast to the dish. If asparagus are unavailable, substitute green beans or broccoli.


½ cup walnut halves

½ cup plus 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

½ cup vegetable oil

1 egg yolk

2 to 3 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste

1 to 2 tsp. lemon juice, or to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 to ½ cup warm water

3 large eggs

1¼ lb. asparagus

Lemon wedges for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Toast walnut halves on baking sheet until fragrant and lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Let cool. Place walnuts in blender container; pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup olive oil and vegetable oil in liquid measuring cup. In small bowl, whisk egg yolk and 1 tablespoon combined oils together until an emulsion is formed. Drop by drop, add the remaining oil to the emulsion, whisking constantly until all of the oil has been added. Do not add the oil too quickly and be sure that the emulsion is homogeneous before adding more oil.
  3. Stir in garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the walnuts enough water to make a sauce that is almost pourable, about the consistency of thick heavy cream.
  4. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. With slotted spoon, lower eggs, one at a time, into boiling water. Reduce heat to medium; cook eggs for 8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, place ice cubes and water into large bowl. After 8 minutes, remove eggs from saucepan and cool in ice water. Remove shells and return eggs to ice water for 5 minutes. Peel eggs and cut into quarters.
  6. Ten minutes before serving, place asparagus on baking sheet and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roll asparagus in oil to coat and place in a single layer. Cook in preheated oven until tender but still bright green, 7 to 8 minutes.
  7. To serve, place asparagus on platter; drizzle with walnut aioli. Garnish with hard-cooked eggs and lemon wedges.

Photograph courtesy of California Walnuts

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