Fried Asparagus with Lemon, Garlic, Dijon Dip

Ah asparagus. Always delicious no matter how you cook it up and always worth the inevitable smelly pee (at least that’s what happens to me). I usually saute my asparagus with a little garlic and olive oil. This simple and wonderful method can become boring if that’s your only go to recipe like it is mine. So, I decided to shake things up a bit and try out fried asparagus. I know, I know frying isn’t the healthiest, but I say “treat yo self” once this summer with fried asparagus.

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This recipe yields a lightly coated, crispy fried asparagus that I absolutely love. I’m not the biggest fan of a thick layer of fried batter that hides the flavor of what is actually being fried, so if you’re like me then this is the batter for you.  I added lemon juice and cracked pepper to the batter for added brightness and made a simple lemon, garlic, and dijon mustard dip to accompany the dish. Make this for your next sunny day gathering and serve with lemon shandies (see ‘PS’ below)!

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Ingredients

For Asparagus Batter- serves 4

*Note* Easily double this recipe for a larger group but still use only 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • vegetable, canola, or coconut oil for frying
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pounds of asparagus, cleaned and trimmed

For Dijon Mustard Dip

  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place an oven proof dish inside.

In a small dish combine mustard, lemon zest and garlic and let sit til asparagus is ready.

In a large bowl mix water, cornmeal, all purpose flour, cornstarch, egg, salt, pepper, and lemon juice until combined (batter will be a little lumpy).

In a skillet, heat about a 1/2 inch of oil over medium-low heat to about 350 degrees. I don’t have a thermometer so I used the wooden spoon method of checking to see if the oil is ready. Dip the handle of the wooden spoon in the oil- if the oil starts to bubble steadily, then it’s ready. If it rigorously bubbles, then the oil is too hot and needs to cool down a little bit.

Coat asparagus in batter letting excess batter drip off. Using 3 to 4 stalks at a time, gently slide asparagus into oil and fry about 3 to 4 minutes, turning halfway through with tongs. When asparagus is golden brown, remove from oil and place on paper towel lined dish to drain any excess oil. Place in dish in oven to keep warm while frying the rest. Serve warm and with mustard and ENJOY!

P.S. Asparagus goes great with lemon shandies! I make my shandies with half beer and half san pellegrino limonata (or any sparkling lemonade). In a 12 ounce glass, fill half with beer (I used budweiser, any light beer will do) and half  with limonata and drink up!

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