Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 4 minutes Makes: 4 servings
2 pounds fresh fat asparagus
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1⁄2 cup creme fraiche
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 Peel: Lay asparagus, one at a time, on a cutting board.
Using a vegetable peeler, strip away skin from just
below the tip to the bottom. Break off woody bottom.
Rinse. Repeat. Consider this project productive
2 Simmer: Choose a skillet wide enough to
accommodate dozing asparagus. Half fill with water.
Add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil; add asparagus.
Reduce to a simmer. Cook, rolling spears once, until they
turn brilliant green at the tips and offer a tender bite,
about 4 minutes.
3 Dry: Use tongs to pull out asparagus. Drain briefly in a
colander. Spread out spears on a clean kitchen towel
(or two) and roll up, keeping asparagus dry and warm.
4Whisk: Measure mustard into a small bowl. Slowly
whisk in 3 tablespoons of the hot asparagus-cooking
water. Whisk in creme fraiche. Season this sauce with salt
and pepper, a squeeze of lemon and the chives.
5 Serve: Heap asparagus on a platter. Either pour on
sauce (leaving ruched points and an inch or two of
bottom bare), or serve sauce in a bowl alongside, for