Whether you're vegetarian, eating light or observing Meatless Monday, a recipe by Peter Berley is guaranteed to satisfy. We've borrowed a few recipes from his award-winning cookbook, The Flexitarian Table, so you have every reason to expand your healthy cooking repertoire. Try this seasonal asparagus preparation as a simple salad or side.
While thick asparagus are great for roasting, I like to turn thin ones into a simple salad. I cook them very briefly, so they retain their crunch. The optional sieved hard-cooked egg, called mimosa, is a traditional spring topping for this chic dish.
- 1 pound thin asparagus, bottom 1 inch trimmed
- sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon scallion white, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 hard-cooked egg (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
- Fill a bowl with water and ice.
- If you have time, peel the lower 2 inches of the asparagus stalks to make more tender and the salad greener.
- In a large skillet or a saucepan wide enough to accommodate the asparagus, bring 6 cups of water to a boil, and add 2 tablespoons salt.
- Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary.
- Drain the asparagus and immediately transfer to the ice bath to chill.
- Drain well and blot thoroughly dry with paper towels.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey and scallion.
- Whisking constantly, drizzle in the oil until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the asparagus with the vinaigrette and arrange on a platter. Chill for 30 minutes to allow the asparagus to absorb the vinaigrette.
- If using the hard-cooked egg, halve it, remove the yolk, and press the yolk through a coarse sieve into a small bowl.
- Finely chop the egg white and add it to the yolk, along with the chives. Season with pepper and a little salt.
- Sprinkle the egg, or just the chives, over the asparagus before serving.
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