Vic's Asparagus Vinaigrette Recipe | PBS Food

Vic’s Asparagus Vinaigrette

This simple, easy to make, and oh so flavorful recipe puts the brilliance of asparagus front and center. Read more about Aube Giroux's time with Vic Kitchen Vignettes.


Yield: Serves about 4 as a side dish



  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 1/4 cup tarragon vinegar (Vic uses balsamic, so feel free to switch it up)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the asparagus: Rinse the asparagus well. Snap off the bottom ends. When you apply pressure, the stem will snap in exactly the right spot, leaving you with a tender spear all the way through, and woody ends to discard of. Steam the asparagus in about one inch of water, covered in a lidded pan, for 4 minutes. While the asparagus is steaming, prepare an ice bath (a large bowl full of water and some ice cubes). At the 4 minute mark, pierce the asparagus with a fork to ensure they’re ready (fork should pierce through easily but the asparagus should remain bright green and should be “tender-crisp”). If you’ve overcooked the asparagus, it will turn a dull green and be mushy. (In this case, Vic says make soup with it instead). Immediately remove the asparagus once they’ve cooked, drain the water, and plunge them into the ice bath to stop cooking and maintain their vibrant green color. A minute or two in the ice bath should be plenty. Drain the asparagus and gently pat dry with a clean towel.
  2. Prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk all the ingredients together, except the oil. Slowly, pour in the oil, while whisking, so that it thickens the mixture. Taste and add pepper if needed.
  3. Assemble: Place the asparagus in the vinaigrette and stir gently, covering all the spears in the sauce. Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavor of the vinaigrette soak in. Serve cold, as a side dish or as a main with crusty bread and optional toppings such as crumbled feta or chopped hard-boiled eggs. Enjoy!
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