Last summer Sharon posted a recipe for zucchini and yellow squash “ribbon” salad. Since then I’ve started shaving all sorts of vegetables–Brussels sprouts just a few weeks ago, carrots, mushrooms.
And now that we’re in spring, it occurred to me that asparagus was perfect for ribboning too. I first envisioned this salad as a mound topped with chopped egg, but then creativity kicked in, and I made the leap to eggs nesting in asparagus!
The key to all our best salads is Mom’s balsamic vinaigrette. While it’s Mom’s recipe, it has become Dad’s job to make the vinaigrette. A while back, Dad got smart and started making large batches of it in the blender, this way we have vinaigrette for a week. Dad calls it liquid gold!
Asparagus Salad “Nests”
1 large garlic clove
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, stalks peeled with a vegetable peeler
6 boiled eggs, peeled and halved
Whisk garlic, vinegar, mustard, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Slowly whisk in oil until you reach the scant 1-cup mark. (Can be refrigerated in an airtight container several days)
Place asparagus, 1/2 cup water, and sprinkling of salt in a large skillet. Cover and turn burner on high; cook until water has mostly evaporated and asparagus is bright and just tender, 5 to 7 minutes, depending on asparagus thickness. Lift asparagus from pan with tongs and transfer to double paper toweling. When cool enough to handle, slice spears lenthgwise as thin as you can with a sharp knife. (Can be made several hours ahead.)
When ready to serve, form a portion of the thin-sliced asparagus into a nest shape on each of 6 salad plates. Place 2 egg halves in each “nest,” drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.