Warm White Asparagus Salad with Grapefruit Zest Vinaigrette


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

French Countryside Cooking

French Countryside Cooking

By Daniel Galmiche

Published 2021

  • About

plus making the mayonnaise

In France we could almost change our national day to White Asparagus Day. Well, almost, but not quite! But when it comes into season, you will find asparagus on all the tables at home, in restaurants, bistros, brasseries and auberges – you name it, it will be on every menu for that short season. I love it, it’s just superb. Here, I am serving it with some lovely white grapefruit and a boiled egg and grapefruit dressing that complements the white asparagus perfectly. If you like, you could serve it with some crusty bread and my Chicory and Radish Salad.


  • 1 egg
  • 1 kg/2 lb 4 oz white asparagus, peeled and woody ends discarded
  • 1 white grapefruit
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 heaped tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp chopped chervil leaves
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil over a medium heat, add the egg, return to the boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water, then crack and peel the egg. Finely chop the cooked egg and leave to one side.
  2. Divide the asparagus into 4 equal-sized bunches and tie each bunch with kitchen string to secure. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over a medium heat, add the bunched asparagus and simmer for 5–8 minutes, depending on the size of your asparagus, until tender but with just a little resistance when pierced with the tip of a knife.
  3. Grate the zest from the grapefruit, reserve a pinch and put the rest in a small bowl. Peel the grapefruit, then take out 4 segments, cut each one in half and leave to one side. Juice the rest of the grapefruit, pressing it through a fine sieve (strainer) into the bowl with the zest. Add the mustard and mayonnaise and whisk together until well blended, then whisk in the sunflower oil in a steady stream. Stir in the chopped egg and chervil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Remove the asparagus from the pan and drain briefly on paper towel or a clean dish towel. Remove the string and put the asparagus onto serving plates. Spoon the dressing over the top and finish with the reserved grapefruit segments and a sprinkling of the reserved zest.