Asparagus, Bacon and Egg Salad
“Asparagus and eggs couldn’t be a better pair if they grew out in the field on the same branch,” says Dorie Greenspan in Around My French Table. I find this to be true. We served a version of this salad at our farm dinner this past Saturday, as we do almost every spring, and it is always a hit. You could omit the bacon, but I wouldn’t. :) Happy first week of spring to all!
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon hazelnut or walnut oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the salad:
4 very cold, fresh, large eggs
All the asparagus from your box, ends trimmed
6 strips of bacon
3 handfuls mesclun or other mixed salad greens
sait and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped and toasted hazelnuts or walnuts
Make the vinaigrette: Put all the ingredients in a small jar, put the lid on, and shake well.
To make the salad: Bring a medium saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil. Gently add the cold eggs to the water using a large spoon. Boil the eggs for exactly 6 minutes, then remove them from the pan and run them under cold water to cool them quickly. Dump out the hot water, fill the pan with cold water, and leave the eggs in the cold water until needed. Bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 4 minutes, or until you can pierce the spears with the tip of a paring knife. Remove the spears and pat dry with paper towel. Pour out the salted water and dry the skillet. Lay the strips of bacon in the pan and cook over medium low heat, turning as needed until the bacon is golden and crisp. Lay them on the paper towels next to the asparagus. Leave two tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan.
Carefully shell your eggs, and then warm the bacon fat over medium heat. While the fat is heating, season the salad greens with salt and pepper and then toss with 3/4 of the vinaigrette. Arrange on a platter. Toss the asparagus with the remaining vinaigrette and lay the spears over the greens. Now that the fat is warm, carefully slip the eggs into the skillet and roll them around in the fat for a minute or two to heat them slightly and color them a bit. Place the eggs on top of the asparagus. Roughly chop the bacon and scatter it over the salad, followed by the nuts.