Here’s a nice springtime salad. It’s pretty simple but has all the right components (as far as I’m concerned): salty prosciutto, nutty Parmigiano Reggiano and grilled fresh asparagus. Plus, a poached egg makes everything better!
Grilled Asparagus & Escarole Salad with Prosciutto & Poached Egg
Assemble the salad first, then poach the egg to finish. Toss the asparagus in a little EVOO, S&P and throw it on the grill (or grill pan if you’re inside). Meanwhile, toss the greens (I like escarole but you can use whatever you prefer) in your favorite vinaigrette. I usually use a combo of red wine vinegar and a little lemon juice with EVOO, S&P. A nice addition might be some minced shallot, a dab of dijon or some fresh herbs like basil, mint or thyme. Add your thinly sliced prosciutto, shaved Parm and grilled asparagus to the plate.
Now poach the egg. Bring a pot of water to a very light simmer. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water to help the white coagulate. Crack the egg into a separate bowl so you can drop the egg into the water all at once. Spin the water with spoon and drop the egg into the center of the eye (this helps keep the white tight around the yolk instead of spreading out). Set a 3 minute timer and let the egg poach (just below a simmer). Remove with a slotted spoon after the 3 minutes and place it on your salad. Add a couple grinds of black pepper.
Here’s a segment I shot for Le Cordon Bleu before Christmas. I’m just now getting my hands on the footage. Luckily, these little babies are good for any winter party… not just for the holidays. Give ‘em a go!
And the recipes!
Endive Spears with Pomegranate, Grapefruit & Crab Salad
For the Salad:
1 16oz can Jumbo Lump Crab
½ Pomegranate, seeds only
½ Grapefruit, sectioned
1 ½ T Fresh Dill, minced
1 T Fresh Mint, minced
1 lime, juiced
6 Belgian Endive
2 T Plain Yogurt
Combine all salad ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Next, puree the avocados in a food processor with a pinch of salt. Then, simply assemble the hors d’oeuvres by placing a dollop of avocado puree on the end of a single endive spear and topping it with a small amount of crab salad.
Celery Root, Parsnip & Apple Soup Sip with Shaved Parmesan & Truffle Oil
For the Soup:
1 Medium Celery Root, peeled & diced
1 Large Parsnip, peeled & diced
2 Apples, peeled & diced
1 Q Chicken Stock or Water
1 Bay Leaf
1 T White Pepper
¼ lb piece Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
4 oz White Truffle Oil
Combine all soup ingredients in a medium pot and simmer until celery root, parsnip & apple are very tender. Remove the bay leaf and puree remaining ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Adjust seasoning. Pour soup into espresso cups teacups or shot glasses. To garnish, add a couple of drops of truffle oil to each cup. Then, using a vegetable peeler, shave ribbons of Parmigiano and place over the rim of each cup.
Crudite with Thai Peanut & Horseradish-Scallion Yogurt Dips
For the Thai Peanut Dip:
1 C Greek or Plain Yogurt
1 T Peanut Butter
3 T Honey
1 ½ T Soy Sauce
3 T Cilantro, minced
2 ½ T Fresh Mint, minced
2 Thai Chilis, minced
2 Limes, zest only
For the Horseradish-Scallion Dip:
1 C Greek or Plain Yogurt
4 Scallions, grilled & thinly sliced
2 ½ T Prepared Horseradish
2 t Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Thoroughly combine all ingredients for each of the two dips. Serve with assorted raw vegetables (such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, radishes and fennel bulb).
Yum… I love mushrooms. I tend to put them in everything! Here, they get to be the star that they deserve to be. Plus, the farro makes the salad super hearty and filling. It might be a good one to make heading into fall…