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Grilled Asparagus with Fresh Tarragon Mayonnaise

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 2/3 cup mayonnaise.

Servings: four as a side dish;

I eat these asparagus with my fingers, dragging the spears through the mayonnaise. The tarragon mayonnaise is delicious with boiled asparagus, too.


  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more for grilling
  • 2 tsp. minced shallot
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh tarragon
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 350
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 300
  • Fat (g): 33
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 25
  • Cholesterol (mg): 55
  • Sodium (mg): 290
  • Carbohydrates (g): 8
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 4


Make the mayonnaise:

  • Put the egg yolk in a small bowl. Add a few drops of lukewarm water and whisk well. Begin adding the olive oil in a very thin stream, whisking constantly. When the sauce thickens and forms a creamy emulsion, you can add the oil a little faster. Whisk in the shallot, parsley, tarragon, and lemon juice. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt or more to taste. If needed, whisk in a few drops of water to loosen the mayonnaise until it’s spoonable, not stiff.

Prepare the asparagus:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and blanch for 1 minute for small spears, or 1-1/2 minutes for medium spears. Transfer the asparagus with tongs to a bowl of ice water. When cool, lift the spears out of the ice water and thoroughly pat dry.
  • Prepare a hot charcoal fire or gas grill. Put the spears on a rimmed baking sheet or platter. Drizzle with 1 Tbs. olive oil, season with a generous pinch of salt, and toss with your hands to coat the spears evenly.
  • Position the grill grate as close to the coals or heat source as possible. Heat the grate and then arrange the asparagus on the grate directly over the heat with all the tips pointing in the same direction. Be sure to arrange the asparagus perpendicular to the bars so the spears don’t fall through. Grill, turning the spears once with tongs, until they’re blistered and lightly charred in spots, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately, passing the mayonnaise separately.


* Note: The egg yolk in this recipe is raw, so if you’re cooking for small children, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system, use a pasteurized egg product instead.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • choffman | 04/17/2022

    The tarragon sauce is amazing!!! I made it in the blender (No chopping! Super fast!) and added a heaping scoop of cream cheese to give it a touch more body. Whoa Nellie! SO good!

  • ToulaT | 05/14/2021

    The mayonnaise came together beautifully! Asparagus + tarragon, what a fresh combination!

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