Asparagus is a great promoter of good health (see Asparagus, Our Ally for Good Health) and this luscious recipe makes a pretty tribute to a vital green vegetable that is one of the pleasures of early spring. Here asparagus is given a French treatment: lightly steamed, drizzled with a flavorful shallot and olive-oil vinaigrette, and garnished with flower-like sieved hard-cooked eggs, this is a beautiful, nourishing dish that is simplicity itself to make.
This recipe is perfect for anything from a cozy family dinner to a fancy company brunch.
2 hard-cooked eggs
1 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 shallot, finely minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 pounds very thin new asparagus
Nicoise olives for garnish (optional)
1. Whisk together the vinegar, shallot, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Peel eggs and press through a coarse-mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside.
2. Steam the asparagus in a little boiling water for 4 to 6 minutes, until just tender but still bright green. Drain briefly on paper towels and arrange on a warmed platter or individual serving plates.
3. Drizzle vinaigrette evenly over the asparagus, then sprinkle the center of the asparagus spears with the sieved eggs. Garnish each serving with a few Nicoise olives, if desired.
Inspired by Spring, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).