For the dip:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup grated onion pulp (use biggest side of box grater)
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 cup chopped parsley, loosely packed
For the asparagus:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Zest of 1 lemon
12 ounces beer
1 bunch thin/skinny asparagus
Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
Make the dip. (Cook’s note: Do this step first to let the flavors develop, so zest the lemon before you juice it and set the zest aside for the next step.) In a medium bowl, stir together the lemon juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, onion pulp, spice blend and parsley. Taste the dip and season with a pinch of salt, if needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Make the batter. Use 2 8x8” baking dishes. Add 1 cup of the flour to each. Set one aside for your dredging station. In the other add the spice blend, lemon zest, a nice pinch of salt and whisk. Slowly stir in the beer until the batter thickens to a pancake consistency. If there is sip of beer leftover, don’t waste it--drink it! Allow batter to rest 5 minutes.
Fry the asparagus and serve. Fill a large pot 3-4 inches deep with oil. Heat the oil to 350° F. To fry, first dredge the asparagus in the flour, then shake off lightly and run through the batter. Immediately and gently lower the asparagus into the oil. Repeat, frying in batches to not overload the pot, which reduces the overall temperature of the oil. Fry each batch until the batter is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm with chilled dip.