Looking for a special way to show off a beautiful bunch of in-season asparagus? Try this impressive-looking (but totally easy) side dish. Tender spears of asparagus are even more delicious when drizzled with a bold vinaigrette flavored with Dijon mustard, fresh tarragon, chopped shallots, and red wine vinegar, and a grated hard-boiled egg. Eggs and asparagus are a classic spring combination, and the soft, fluffy grated egg makes a pretty topper. For best results, grate the egg on the large holes of a box grater. (The thin holes will just mash the egg). Or chop the egg very finely with a chef’s knife. When shopping for asparagus, thick spears will work best for this dish. Thin spears won’t stand up to the tangy tarragon dressing and keep their shape as well. Freshness is also key. Inspect the bottoms of the stalks. They should not look overly dried-out and woody. And the asparagus tips should be tightly closed. This recipe was originally developed as part of an Easter lunch menu, but it would be a welcome addition to any springtime meal, from brunch to dinner. Because it can be served at room temperature, it’s also a great recipe to bring to a potluck. Just dress the asparagus and top with eggs right before serving.
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 small shallot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons plus 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
10 cups water
3 bunches (about 3 lb.) thick asparagus spears
2 boiled and peeled eggs, grated
How to Make It
Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, tarragon, mustard, pepper, sugar, shallot, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt.
Bring water and remaining 3 tablespoons salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Remove and discard tough ends of asparagus spears. Place asparagus in boiling water; cook until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water; pat dry.
Arrange asparagus on a serving platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette, and toss lightly to coat. Top with grated eggs. Serve warm or at room temperature.