Remember when brussels sprouts weren’t available everywhere? Back in the olden days, when they might appear in a cafeteria, probably hospital, boiled or smothered with cheese sauce as a tip of the hat that they tasted terrible. Then not too long ago, brussels made the acquaintance of the deep fryer and the Granny Smith apple and fruity vinegar, and now they’re everywhere and they’re delicious.
Asparagus had its heyday too, but no one seemed to do anything interesting with it. Grilled or occasionally deep-fried in the same type of batter onion rings are deep-fried in. It was good of course – I’d eat my shoelaces if they were battered and fried. But in general, asparagus was a yawn. I stopped making it at home because who cares.
Then along came this recipe. It’s based on a classic Italian salad, and not only is it easy to make, the egg viniagrette elevates the asparagus to something it only ever dreamed of being.
Note: If you’re not going to use asparagus right away, don’t be like me and store it in a plastic bag in the recesses of the veggie drawer, only to be forgotten until it gets wilty and smelly. Instead, trim the stalks and pop them stem side down in a glass of water, covering the tops loosely with plastic wrap. The thirsty stems sip the water and stay plump and fresh, and your refrigerator will think you gave it a lovely bouquet.
Asparagus with Hard-Boiled Egg Viniagrette
20 or so stalks of asparagus
4 TBS olive oil, separated
2 hard-boiled eggs
2 TBS of white wine or rice vinegar (or sub 1 TBS lemon juice)
1 TBS dijon mustard
Fresh chives or tarragon, chopped fine (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil, peel and chop the eggs. Break off the woody ends of the asparagus. Peel the stalks if they’re thick. Saute in 2 TBS of olive oil about 7 minutes until they start to soften. In a bowl, whisk together 2 TBS olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice if you’re using it and dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the asparagus on plates, sprinkle with the chopped egg, and pour the viniagrette over. Sprinkle chives or tarragon on top if you like.