I was never one to swoon over vegetables. Bread and pastries, yes, but not vegetables. Until I experienced spring asparagus in Belgium. I was on a work trip, and as always for me, the restaurant meals were the best part. The asparagus was white, served with chopped egg, and a tantalizing dressing. The flavor was unfamiliar to me at the time, but I now know it was tarragon. In the bookstores with my co-worker Jean-Raymond, I searched indexes for anything “Asperges”. I flew home with La Cuisine Belge De Terroir in my carry on, the text was beyond my French abilities, but nonetheless, a beloved reminder of my time in Belgium and a new relationship with asparagus.
Make this dish for lunch or a simple dinner, just add a loaf of sourdough and cheese. Of course it also makes a great side dish for a more substantial meal. Save any extra dressing and drizzle it over sliced Easter eggs.
Asparagus, Chopped Egg, and Tarragon Dressing
serves 4-6; adapted from "Gribiche Dressing", Bon Appétit, March 2017
- 6 cornichons, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, finely minced or 50/50 tarragon and parsley
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp capers, drained and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- a couple pinches Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Serve with: blanched or roasted asparagus, 3 hard-boiled eggs (peeled and chopped)
6 cornichons, finely chopped2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, finely minced (or half tarragon, half parsley)2 tablespoons white wine vinegar1 tablespoon capers, drained and finely chopped1 tablespoon whole grain mustard1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil1/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepperServe with: blanched or roasted asparagus, 3 hard boiled eggs (peeled and chopped)
Recipe Notes / Tips
- How to boil eggs
- A couple options for cooking the asparagus:
- Blanch for "crisp tender": Boil water, add a pinch or two of salt, submerge the asparagus for a couple minutes then transfer to an ice bath to "shock" and stop the cooking. Remove from water after a minute or two and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. (Flour sack towels are what you want for food prep like this.)
- Oven roast for a softer, cooked texture: Crank up the oven to 425°F. Make sure the asparagus is dry, coat with some olive oil, sprinkle with salt and cook for about 10 minutes.