M. Andrew Gordon

Asparagus – raw and uncut but not unshaved

In Main Dish, Side Dishes on March 29, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Tonight’s recipe owes to a strange confluence of events and things in the pantry.  I had seen some recipes for raw asparagus salads and had been sufficiently intrigued about the prospects.  Having a bunch of asparagus in the refrigerator, I knew that I would try to make a salad with that.  But I didn’t have anything else which I planned to focus the meal on, so I went with the classic combination of eggs and asparagus, which seems to always have poached eggs and cooked asparagus or a frittata with asparagus.  But I imagined a fried egg, sunny-side up, with yolk oozing into the salad.

I had two-thirds of my meal figured out, or at least sketched out, and the final part decided itself the day before.  While browsing through my favorite produce shop yesterday, I came across purple yams and decided I should try them.  So I bought one, which as luck would have it, would be perfect for a side dish here.  I didn’t do anything fancy with the yam, just cut it up, dressed it with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and coriander and roasted it at 375°F for about 25 minutes.  I’ve got to say, I hope I can do some more cooking with the purple yam, which had a very nice sweetness to it, probably more so than the more common yellow sweet potato.

Shaving asparagus seems like a relatively easy thing to accomplish.  And perhaps it is.  But I have to say, it was more of a nuisance than I imagined.  I often use my vegetable peeler to shave carrots into a cole slaw.  I envisioned something similar with the asparagus but it never quite worked out as well.  For the dressing, I mixed together freshly squeezed lemon juice and riesling and let that boil, than I added some Dijon mustard and butter.  Salt and pepper finished the dressing.

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Eggs

  • 1 lb asparagus, shaved
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons Riesling or other fruity, white wine
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano
  1. Shave asparagus into a medium bowl.  In saucepan, combine lemon juice and Riesling.  Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half.
  2. Add Dijon and ½ tablespoon of butter to lemon-wine mixture.  Whisk until combined and let sauce cool.
  3. In large non-stick skillet, melt the remaining butter.  Carefully slide eggs into pan to keep the whites from running.  Let cook until whites are nearly set.  Remove from heat.
  4. Pour dressing over asparagus and toss to combine.  Transfer to plates, top with eggs, and sprinkle Pecorino Romano over eggs.  Garnish with freshly ground black pepper if desired.
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