Smitten's Asparagus & Egg Salad w/ Walnuts & Mint
We all know I am an egg salad addict.
On good rye, with crisp lettuce, Hellmann's REAL mayo, salt & pepper please.
Sometimes, I add in capers or grainy mustard....and even pickle relish if the mood strikes me.
I was intrigued w/ Smitten Kitchen's favorite egg salad with raw asparagus, walnuts and mint, hold the mayo.
I love raw asparagus, however, only and I mean ONLY, when it is fresh picked from your garden or fresh from the farm.
Fresh, raw, in season asparagus tastes nothing like the supermarket stuff that has traveled too long of a way to get to us. Trust me here.
I found some beautiful California spears (NJ will be soon), and decided to give this one a whirl.
Lately my favorite method of cooking asparagus is sauteeing the stalks.
Gone are the days of roasting, making them too soft and usually burned....and definitely not boiling, making them mushy.
These days I opt for searing them in a little oil on high heat, with kosher salt, just until crisp. About 5 minutes total. Makes them nice and green, and never mushy. Try it.
I wasn't sure how these ingredients would come together, especially with the cheese and mint, but trust me, it was delicious!
Deb puts this on a sandwich, but I can't really imagine that, the filling would fall out.
I ate the entire salad out of a bowl (all by myself), happily, without bread.
Just a note from Smitten Kitchen: she doesn't like using a microplane to grate her Parmesan cheese, says it's "too fluffy like snow", so I used a regular old cheese grater to achieve bigger pieces. Good tip!
and definitely toast your walnuts! They really sing. I use a toaster oven....watch them, nuts burn easily.
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped lightly well-toasted walnuts
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dried chile flakes (I forgot to use them)
1 pound asparagus, any thickness, tough ends trimmed
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
I cooked my eggs for 8 minutes, then served them warm on top of the salad. Delicious.
Cut raw or cooked asparagus (I told you how I like to cook my asparagus) into quarters.
Mix with the rest of the ingredients together, leaving the mint leaves for before serving.
Taste and adjust seasonings. I forgot the hot pepper flakes, and did not miss them.
This salad was best eaten warm and the leftovers left at room temperature.
I can't wait to try this recipe with local raw asparagus, it really was excellent.