Grilled Asparagus with Hazelnut Aioli

From Gail Norton and Matthew Altizer

2014 Jul/Aug

When making the aioli, take care to add the oil to the egg yolk gradually – if you do it too quickly, it can curdle. Curdling can be repaired by slowly whisking the mixture in a clean bowl with another egg yolk.


  • 1/2 garlic clove, finely minced
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 t. mustard powder
  • 1/4 c. each hazelnut oil and grapeseed oil, plus extra for the asparagus
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/4 c. roasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped chives


Place the garlic in a small bowl and add a pinch of salt. Whisk in the egg yolk, juice of 1/2 of the lemon and the mustard powder. Start by adding the hazelnut oil, then continue with the grapeseed oil, gradually whisking it into the egg yolk mixture, drop by drop at first, making sure that each addition is fully incorporated before you add the next. If you start to see oil building up around the edge of the bowl, stop adding more oil until it has all been incorporated.

As the mixture starts to thicken, you can pour in the oil a little bit faster. You’ve added enough oil when the aioli is thick like mayonnaise. You may not need to add the full 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil to achieve this consistency. Taste it for seasoning and whisk in the remaining lemon juice, if necessary. Pour the aioli into a small serving bowl.

Lightly coat the asparagus with hazelnut oil and grill it over high heat for 3-5 minutes, or until it is slightly charred and crisp-tender. Gently toss the asparagus with the chopped hazelnuts and chives and transfer it to a serving platter with the aioli on the side.

Serves 4 to 6.