Sunday, April 18, 2010

Asparagus Salad

Now asparagus was a vegetable of my youth. My mother loved asparagus. In the days when it wasn't flown in from Mexico or God knows where else, but was grown on the East Coast, we ate it from the end of March, when it was ready in South Carolina and Georgia until June when it was growing in New Jersey. We had it four and five times a week. She put the cooked asparagus on pieces of toast and then dumped butter over the vegetables. It was a big treat to get the butter soaked toast. However, she over cooked it, and it took my husband to teach me that asparagus should just be waved through the water, kind of like the vermouth in a dry martini.
Now, while this recipe only calls for cooked asparagus, leaving the cook to determine how hard to wave each stalk through the water, the dressing is one of those recipes that makes one pause and wonder how was it really supposed to turn out.
It involves making a dressing from a hard boiled egg, olive oil, vineger, and whipped cream. Which is fine. However, the quantities of liquid are so small that the result is not so dressing-y. (One of the directions is, "Gradually beat the oil, etc, into the egg yolk." When you have less than a quarter cup of liquid, it's kind of hard to beat it gradually. So, instead of pouring it over the asparagus, one has to scrape it out of the bowl and plop it onto the asparagus sort of like icing onto a cake.

Asparagus Salad

1 hard cooked egg
1 1//2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely grated onion
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons heavy cream, whipped
16 spears asparagus, cooked drained and chilled

1. Rub the yolk of the egg through a sieve. Chop the egg white. Gradually beat the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, onion, parsley and egg white into the yolk.
2. Fold into the cream and spoon over the asparagus.

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