Is it spring yet? It’s sure starting to feel like it. My daffodils are blooming, the chives in the garden are coming back, and my nectarine tree has started to blossom.
On the culinary front, asparagus is here! I haven’t seen any of my other springtime favorites yet, but it’s time to watch out for pea shoots and fava beans at the farmer’s market. I used my asparagus to make a salad from the Bouchon cookbook.
For this salad, asparagus stalks are blanched and dressed in a vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, Dijon and olive oil. As is customary, the woody ends of the stalks are snapped off prior to cooking. When you go to cut the stalks into even lengths, save the trimmings; they’re used to make an asparagus coulis.
The plating of the salad starts with a dollop of the asparagus coulis. The asparagus stalks are piled on top and showered with hard boiled egg yolk, julienned radish and fresh chives.
I love the presentation of this salad, it’s very elegant. This was quite delicious too, the flavors worked well together. I know I’ve professed my love for root vegetables on more than one occasion, but this dish made it clear to me that I’m ready for some spring produce.
Chilled asparagus with vinaigrette and eggs mimosa
Adapted from Bouchon 1 bunch of asparagus
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 T extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp dijon mustard
3 hard boiled egg yolks
2 radishes, julienned
1 T minced chives
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Snap the woody end off each asparagus stalk, discard the ends. Trim the stalks to an equal length, reserve the trimmings. Blanch the asparagus stalks for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water. Once the asparagus has cooled, remove from the water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the asparagus trimmings in the pot of boiling water, cook until very tender, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the trimmings from the pot and place in the bowl of ice water.
For the coulis, transfer the trimmings to a food processor with a little bit of the cooking water. Blend until a smooth puree forms. You may need to add a bit more water to get a smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and mustard; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Press the egg yolks through the smallest holes on a cheese grater, set aside.
To assemble, toss the asparagus stalks with the vinaigrette. Spoon the coulis onto the plate, and top with the stalks. Add the egg yolks on top of the asparagus, then place the radish julienne in a pile on the egg yolks. Sprinkle with chives.