The weather in New England can be hard in winter and this one brings changes in vacation schedules because off the snow and a lot of inconveniences. However, Spring does bring some of my favorite vegetables like spinach, sorrel, asparagus, peas, ramps, and chives. It is also the time to plant seeds or make seedlings to prepare for our gardens. Spring represents a special time of year where we can aspire to commit ourselves to renewal. It is a time when the dreary days of winter give way to green and all the hope that the color represents. Enjoy a cheeky, sexy, and easy Spring salad of Asparagus with hopefully local eggs. This recipe is great for a light lunch or dinner. It can be ready in minutes for you contemplate all the wonderful ways you will celebrate the breaking of the earth and end of hibernation. Happy Spring.
2 medium eggs
2 handful sorrel leaves or spinach
3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon
Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon capers, preferably salt-packed (see below)
Aleppo chilli flakes, piment d’Espelette chilli powder or a thinly sliced fresh medium-hot chilli, eg Serrano
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Place the eggs in a small saucepan with enough cold water to cover them and heat until just boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 8 minutes. Rinse the capers and then soak them in cold water for 10 minutes. Rinse again and coarsely chop.
Meanwhile, place the sorrel or spinach leaves in a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of oil and a generous pinch or two of fine sea salt and pepper, Dijon mustard and toss to combine. Drain the eggs and submerge them in a small bowl of very cold water and a few ice cubes for a few minutes, then peel. Thinly julienne the eggs or grate on smallest hole.
Fill a large frying pan with enough water to come three-quarters the way up the sides of the pan. Add salt and bring to the boil. Add the asparagus and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes for medium spears. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and, while hot, toss with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and a generous pinch of fine sea salt.
Transfer the asparagus to serving plates. Drizzle any oil left in the mixing bowl on top. Top with the spinach or sorrel, egg, chives, capers and a generous pinch or two of chilli. Serve immediately with lemon wedges for squeezing.