Asparagus Vinaigrette


Asparagus is at its flavorful best for only a short time, usually between March and May, when you'll want to avail yourself of its abundance. There are, of course, a number of ways to prepare and serve asparagus, but this method, in which it is paired with a savory vinaigrette, is one of Martha's seasonal favorites.


  • Coarse salt

  • 2 bunches asparagus (about 2 pounds), trimmed

  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 ½ tablespoons champagne vinegar

  • Pinch of sugar

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt, and the asparagus. Return to a boil, and cook until asparagus are bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to ice bath to cool. Drain well, pat dry, and transfer to a serving platter.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, and sugar. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Whisk in oil. Add lemon zest and tarragon; whisk to combine. Taste, and adjust for seasoning. Drizzle over asparagus. Serve immediately, or let stand at room temperature for up to 30 minutes before serving.

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