The key to the success of this recipe lies in strictly following the blanching directions. It is also important to ensure that the asparagus is thoroughly dry.
1 small shallot
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
For the vinaigrette, pulse the shallot and the garlic in the bowl of a food processor until chopped finely. Add the salt, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, and pepper, and process briefly to combine. With motor running, add the olive oil in a very slow but steady stream.
To blanch the asparagus, bring to a boil a pot of salted water. Place one pound of asparagus in the boiling water for two minutes, remove with tongs and place in ice water for two minutes, then drain on paper towel-lined wire racks, blotting off any moisture with more paper towels. Let stand at room temperature, and repeat with the second pound of asparagus.
Thirty minutes before serving, arrange the asparagus attractively on a platter, and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature.