Asparagus Spears with Easy Lemon-Mayo Dip ♥

Asparagus Spears with Easy Lemon-Mayo Dip, another quick, healthy vegetable appetizer ♥ Just three ingredients!
Need a quick snack before dinner? An easy, healthy party appetizer? This one's as easy as can be, just fresh asparagus (either raw or briefly cooked) served with mayonnaise "doctored" with lemon. It's so simple, so good!

Real Food, Fast & Casual. Just Three Ingredients! A Summer Classic. Not Just Easy, Summer Easy. Little Effort, Big Taste. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Great for Meal Prep. Scales from Small Plates to Large Platters. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.

Is This Italian Asparagus? Maybe!

This simple recipe (if you can even call something so simple a "recipe") comes from a friend whose mother was born in Italy. She says it's the "only way" asparagus was ever prepared at home.

And truly, it couldn't be simpler. Just clean (and cook, maybe) some fresh asparagus, then stir together mayonnaise with lemon zest and lemon juice and thin it to an easy dipping consistency.

I know, I know. That's it! So I won't go on and on, you've got this.

More Ways to Give Store-Bought Mayonnaise a Boost

There is zero shame in buying mayonnaise, it's a staple in our house. I was a Hellman's fan for the longest time, now we're 100% Duke's. But use what you have, what you like, even a salad dressing like Miracle Whip would work here.

But if you like the idea of "doctoring" mayonnaise with lemon flavors, here are two more ideas. Either one would be an excellent substitute if you don't happen to have a lemon.

Green Mayonnaise takes on color and freshness from a blend of fresh herbs.
Lime Crema is a Mexican sour cream dip that's brightened with, you guessed it, lime juice.

Summer Easy, a special collection of Less Cookin' and More Livin' recipes especially for summer ♥ all summer long.
This recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long ever since 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Asparagus Spears with Easy Lemon-Mayo Dip, another quick, healthy vegetable appetizer ♥ Just three ingredients!

~ PIN This ~


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 5 minutes
Makes 5 tablespoons Easy Lemon-Mayo Dip

Just Asparagus + Three Ingredients

Raw or Cooked Asparagus, preferably thin or medium thick

1/4 cup mayonnaise
Zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 tablespoon or 4g)
Lemon juice to taste (about 1 tablespoon)
If needed, milk for additional thinning
A sprinkle of pepper

ASPARAGUS If the asparagus are thin or medium-thick but tender, they're wonderful uncooked. Just rinse well to remove any grit in the tips and cut off the woody ends, here's how, Asparagus & Woody Ends (Step-by-Step Photos & Video).

If the asparagus are not especially tender, rinse well to remove that grit, cut off the woody ends and cook, either in the microwave (How to Microwave Asparagus) or in well-salted water (see Party Asparagus with Aioli for the technique). Aim for "al dente" – here, that's the sweet spot where the spears are lightly cooked but still enough to not "droop" when dipping.

If you like, chill the cooked asparagus spears but they're also great hot, warm or room temperature with this dip.

EASY LEMON-MAYO DIP In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients, taste a bit as you go along. Consistency is key here, you want the Dip to coat the asparagus, not be gloppy like mayonnaise. Depending on your mayo's consistency, the lemon juice may be all that's needed. If you happen to be using homemade mayonnaise (like Homemade Mayonnaise for BLTs), you may not need to thin it at all.

TO SERVE This is so simple and casual! I usually microwave the asparagus in a Corning dish that becomes the serving dish, just by dolloping the lemony mayonnaise into a ramekin. You could use individual ramekins but really, because this is a thin dip, people aren't going to need much. My mother would quake but go ahead, "Eat from the common dish!"

MAKE-AHEAD There's something especially appetizing about chilled asparagus and the dip's flavors do meld so if there's time, allow a couple of hours for both.

LEFTOVERS are super easy to use up, just use them in tomorrow's salad or sandwich. Or do as we did recently, lather some onto smoked chicken, so so so good.

TO LOWER THE CALORIES WITH LITTLE TASTE DIFFERENCE Use a low-fat mayonnaise and a low-fat or skim milk.

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.