house, salad generally comes after the main course.
an old European tradition, but that isn't why we do it. We simply find a green
salad is quite refreshing after a meal.
I make some salads that don't really qualify as a green salad and are more
appropriate as first courses - a seafood salad, for example.
recipe is another I find perfect for a starter: asparagus mimosa. And the
season for this is now
some really beautiful purple asparagus at the farmers market this past week and
wanted to do something a little different.
mimosa can be plain steamed asparagus topped with chopped hard-boiled egg, or
it can be more involved - blanched asparagus tossed in a tarragon vinaigrette
and then sprinkled with the iconic mimosa egg topping. That is my favorite way.
remember the first time I had a dish ending with "mimosa." It was
just after my senior year in college, and my friend Martha made poached eggs
with a creamy white sauce and topped it with "mimosa." Eggs with your
eggs, you say?
thing is that true "eggs mimosa" is really just another name for
stuffed or deviled eggs.
the asparagus mimosa, I found references to it being made in 12th-century
France, and only a brief description in Larousse Gastronomique
. I have to
assume it is French but cannot find any definitive source stating that.
always thought it was called so because it resembles mimosa or acacia blossoms.
And, since I love them for both their beauty and amazing fragrance, that works
asparagus dressed in a light vinaigrette, as the acidity pairs nicely with the
asparagus and egg.
This is a
good "do ahead" dish that keeps, covered, for a few hours in the
refrigerator - but hold off sprinkling on the egg till you serve. It also works
well as a light luncheon served with a cup of soup.
asparagus, not too thin
extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons
tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
ground black pepper
bowl of ice and cold water.
asparagus in a large skillet, then cover with cold, salted water. Bring water
to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer asparagus, uncovered for 5-6 minutes.
Transfer with tongs to ice water, drain, then pat dry. Wipe skillet dry and
return to medium-low heat.
in the skillet and add shallot. When shallot is soft, remove skillet from heat
and whisk in vinegar, mustard, tarragon, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Once
emulsified, set aside to cool.
cool, add the asparagus and toss well to coat.
hard-boiled egg, then force through a medium-mesh sieve onto a plate. (Alternatively,
crumble cooked yolks and finely chop whites.)
tongs, divide asparagus among 4 plates. Spoon a little additional vinaigrette
over asparagus. Top with egg and serve.
Labels: asparagus, asparagus mimosa, first course, mimosa, spring, starter