One day I was thinking of serving some lovely new-season white and green asparagus as an entree. The classic accompaniment is a hollandaise sauce, sometimes flavoured with orange, but I thought it would be interesting to try making it with olive oil. Why not⁄ It works with mayonnaise and can be flavoured the same way.
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp white peppercorns, crushed
3 egg yolks
250g olive oil, warmed slightly
1 tbsp lemon juice
When whisking and cooking an egg-yolk mixture in recipes such as hollandaise sauce, check to make sure it's cooked by lifting the whisk from the mixture. If the ribbon of yolk trailed from the whisk remains visible on the sauce surface, it's ready. If it disappears immediately, it requires more cooking and whisking. If you don't cook it enough at this stage, the taste of raw egg yolk remains.
Put vinegar and white pepper in small saucepan and reduce by two-thirds. Place a bowl over a saucepan of very hot (but not boiling) water. Add yolks, vinegar mix and 1 tbsp of warm water. Whisk the mixture until it's creamy and light. (See tip). Slowly whisk in olive oil, a little at a time. If the mixture gets sticky, add a little warm water. Continue whisking, adding remaining oil. Season with salt, cayenne and lemon juice. Serve immediately.