Recipe courtesy of Mary Corpening Barber

Spear Ecstasy

Asparagus With Lemon-Tarragon Dipping Sauce Arrange the asparagus spears in beautiful crystal glasses or silver cups and pour the sauce into a matching glass. This dish is best when the dipping sauce and asparagus are served chilled, so allow time to refrigerate.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 48 asparagus spears
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3/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons chopped red onion

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon capers, drained and chopped

2 teaspoons dried tarragon

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

48 (about 2 bunches) asparagus spears, cut into 4-inch lengths

3 cups ice

6 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. To Make Dipping Sauce: Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice, capers, lemon zest, tarragon, onion powder, sugar and pepper together using a whisk. Mix well. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  2. Cook the asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water until tender when pierced with a fork, 6 to 8 minutes. Mix the ice, water, and kosher salt together in a large bowl. Remove the asparagus from the steamer and refresh it by plunging it into the ice water. Let sit until cold. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to dry. Refrigerate. Serve chilled with the dipping sauce.

Cook’s Note

Do-Ahead Tips: The dipping sauce can be prepared up to 2 days in advance amd refrigerated. The asparagus can be prepared 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Serve as directed.