August 03, 2016
Dinner, Lunch, Salads,
Vegetable Salad, Eggs, Vegetables, Asparagus, Lettuce , North American, Brunch, Easter, Entertaining, Ladies Luncheon, Mother's Day, Romantic Dinner, Summer, Sunday Dinner, Refrigerator, Stove Top, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Non-Dairy, Make it from scratch, Spring more
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"This is such an elegant and delicious salad. I usually serve this as a starter salad; or, a salad for either a brunch or light lunch. Now, for the 'Greens' in this dish ... I use mache. Mache is really a 'baby soft' buttery green; similar in taste, to boston or bibb lettuce. I can often find a mix of mache at most local/main stream grocery stores; but, definitely at any local natural food store; i.e. Whole Foods, or something similar. It's simple and delicious. Now, for a really special occasion ... add a little caviar on top of the egg."
Vinaigrette ... In a small bowl, add the lemon juice and zest, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper; and, slowly whisk in the oil, until the dressing is emulsified (or thickened). I usually start out with 1/3 cup olive oil; but, you can always add more if you want (just taste and adjust). I happen to really like my dressing very acidic. Refrigerate until ready to use. I like to keep mine in a tupperware container; or, mason jar. That way, you can just shake the dressing when you are ready to use it.
Asparagus ... First, I don't like to use a 'really' thick - or 'really' thin (pencil) asparagus; I prefer to use an average size spear. The thick tend to be very tough; and, the thin just cook too quick. Then, the first thing you need to do; is trim the bottom ends - about 1" from the bottom. You can save them for stock. Then, trim the tips (in 3/4-1" pieces); and, set them to the side. Next, take the remaining spears, and cut them in 3/4" pieces on an angle; set them to the side as well ... separate from the tips. There is a reason for this.
Add about 1/2-3/4" water to a small saute pan; and, bring to a light boil. First, add the tips; and, cook 1-1 1/2 minutes, just until lightly tender - you don't want them too soft. Immediately transfer them (using a slotted spoon) to a small bowl of ice water. Let them cool a minute or two; then, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to dry. Next, add the remaining spears; and, cook them 2-2 1/2 minutes (according to the thickness) - and, just until tender. Again, transfer them to the bowl of ice water to cool; then, to a plate lined with a paper towel to dry. The spears take longer; that is why I cook them separately from the tips.
Eggs ... Now, I like poached eggs or soft boiled eggs; but, if you aren't comfortable with that ... a slow soft fried egg is just fine. How you do your eggs is up to you. A soft fried egg is nothing more than - Add an egg to a non stick pan, lightly sprayed with a non stick spray on medium heat. Once the whites begin to set; add a little water to the bottom of the pan, and cover. The water and cover, will allow the egg to cook slowly and steam - no brown edges, very tender and soft. After a few minutes, check it; and, using a spoon, drizzle a little of the water over the yolk. Cover and finish cooking until the whites are cooked, and the yolk is still runny. Very easy to do - just don't rush it.
Salad ... As the eggs cook; prepare the salad. Add the cooled blanched asparagus (stems and tips) to a serving bowl; and lightly dress with some of the dressing, season with salt and pepper if needed. Then, add the mache; and toss until everything is combined. Add a bit more dressing if needed. I actually dress my salads very lightly.
Serve ... Add some of the salad to each plate, about 4 plates (depending on the size). Salmon, I like to loosely roll up the slices - I just think they look pretty. Then, top the salad with the salmon and pistachios; and, finish with your egg.
Finish and ENJOY! ... Garnish with plenty of fresh chives; and, serve extra dressing on the side (for those who want it). For a special treat, add a small spoon of caviar on top of the egg. A perfect side or starter salad for a special occasion. For lunch; maybe add some fruit; and/or, a roll or toasted baguette. And, for dinner; simply serve along side some fresh grilled fish or your favorite protein.
FYI: The last time I served this salad, was for lunch. I served 2 medium size poached eggs on top of each salad; along with a fruit salad, and fresh rolls. Basically, you can really customize it to your liking.
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