Colorful & comforting seasonal recipes for savory dishes, sweets and cocktails. 

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Creamy Herb Vinaigrette and Garlic Breadcrumbs

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Creamy Herb Vinaigrette and Garlic Breadcrumbs

I grew up in Missouri where each summer we sweat in the sun and shade for the love of yard games and cookouts, lucky if a lake or pool was close by. The humidity seeped straight to our bones, but we lessened its distraction with mildly competitive rounds of washers or bocce ball and tables of food, dressed first in gingham then loaded up with over-sauced pork steaks and miracle whip potato salad, much like us by the end of the day. These moments were sumptuous and well earned. I fought flies and mosquitos for that potato salad and find myself still craving its creaminess each summer (the pork steaks, not so much). Over the years I've taken note of other recipes with the snug comfort of mayo and mustard-loaded potato salad, like this creamy vinaigrette made with a soft-boiled egg. 

You can retrofit this vinaigrette for so many salads, but I especially love the way the soft-boiled egg works with asparagus, emulsified and brightened with lemon juice, fresh herbs and olive oil. Once the asparagus and greens are tossed with the vinaigrette, I like to add salty parmesan, chopped spring onions and crunchy garlic bread crumbs to bring it home to a texture place that feels cozy and familiar.  

Shaved Asparagus Salad
serves 4
3 cups mixed greens
2 cups shaved asparagus
2-3 tablespoons creamy herb vinaigrette
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
1/4 cup shaved parmesan
1/2 cup garlic bread crumb

Toss the mixed greens and shaved asparagus with vinaigrette. Transfer to a serving dish and top with chopped spring onion, shaved parmesan and garlic bread crumbs. Serve immediately. 

Creamy Herb Vinaigrette
makes about 3/4 cup
vinaigrette adapted from Chef Eric Korsh/North End Grill via Food52  
1 large egg
1/2 cup loosely packed dill fronds
1/2 cup loosely packed parsley
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Start the vinaigrette by making a soft-boiled egg. Place the egg in a small saucepan of boiling water. Use enough water to ensure the egg is fully submerged. Set a timer and cook the egg for 7 minutes. Immediately transfer the egg container of ice water so it stops cooking. Carefully peel away the shell. The whites of the egg will be fully set, with the slightly runny and barely set. Transfer the egg to a blender or food processor. Add the dill, parsley, dijon and lemon juice. Process until smooth, then slowly stream in the olive oil to emulsify the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately or store in a sealable container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days. 

Garlic Bread Crumbs
makes about 1 cup
1 cup bread crumbs (tear stale bread into small pieces, pulse in a food processor/blender into course crumbs, or use store-bought bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt 

Bring a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Season with salt and add the bread crumbs. Stir frequently and let cook until the breadcrumbs are crunchy and lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool and store in an air tight container at room temperature until ready to use. Use within a few days.  

 

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