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A Salad Not to Miss!

Asparagus!  A major herald of spring in my book.  I think it is my all-time favorite vegetable, although there are so many to love.  When those lovely, green spears appear at the market, I know spring has finally arrived. My mind shifts into “what delicious recipe shall I try first” gear.  Roasted asparagus, asparagus risotto, asparagus with pasta, a frittata with asparagus, and today’s special… asparagus salad with hard-boiled eggs.  I found this recipe in the New York Times and have been literally rapturous about it ever since.  Such a simple recipe but so yummy.  The dressing is light but so flavorful.  The egg and asparagus combo – why didn’t I think of it first?

Asparagus not only tastes wonderful, but it is full of nutrients.  It’s a very good source of vitamins K, C, A and fiber.  It contains a compound (glutathione, in case you were wondering) that breaks down carcinogens and may help to protect against some forms of cancer.  It is also packed with antioxidants, which provide a layer of protection for the body’s tissues and cells.

Tips for Asparagus

  • Look for firm, thin stalks with closed tips.
  • It is more perishable than most vegetables, so use it within a day or two.
  • Wrap the ends in a damp cloth or paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to prevent moisture loss.
  • Roast, grill, steam, or stir-fry to preserve the nutritional content and the antioxidant power.

I tweaked this recipe a bit and here is the delicious result.

Asparagus Salad with Hard-boiled Eggs

(serves 4)

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 tablespoons champagne or sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of a mixture of chives and tarragon, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and steam for 5 minutes.  Plunge into ice water.  Then drain on paper towels or a clean dish cloth and pat dry.
  2. Cut the hard-boiled eggs into halves and mince the whites and yolks separately.  Combine them and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and oil together.  Add the herbs and whisk again.   Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Letting this sit at room temperature for an hour or two lets the herbs infuse the dressing.
  4. Lay the asparagus spears on a serving plate.  Drizzle some of the dressing on the spears.  Sprinkle the chopped eggs and capers onto the spears.
  5. Serve with the additional dressing.

Do ahead: Prepare the parts of the salad separately and assemble when ready to serve.

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