Simple and satisfying salad

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First of all, I want to send a HUGE thank you to Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen for nominating me for the Liebster Award! What an incredible honor! There are few fun things I need to do before I can accept the nomination but I want to take my time doing them so I will put aside some time this weekend and report back on it soon.

As far as today’s food moment (or last night’s, rather), it was a first for me. Two nights ago I was in bed just about to fall into a blissful deep sleep when out of nowhere Kevin whispered, “Hey, I saw them cook a recipe on the Today show this morning and it looked really good. Do you think you could make that for us?” I have cooked Kevin many a meal but he’s never before asked me to make anything specific. It was completely adorable, how could I not make it for him? So the next day I hit up the grocery store and collected all I needed for, what turned out to be, a simple and satisfying salad. I was actually a little surprised this recipe had jumped out at him. I think he’s been craving fresh spring food as much as me. The dish could only have been better had we been able to walk down to the farmer’s market (which hasn’t opened yet) in the warm spring sunshine (which hasn’t arrived yet) to buy fresh vegetables.

The recipe doesn’t call for it, but I bought a loaf of sourdough bread to make croutons. These days most health conscious people think about how to remove carbs from a meal…I think about how to include them in an otherwise carb-free dish. Bread and pasta are a weakness. So is cheese. And chocolate. When I got home from the store I cut up a few cubes of the bread, removed the crust, and spread them out on a baking sheet to dry up for a few hours. Then I threw them in the oven before cooking the shallots and eggs and let them get nice and toasty for perfectly delicious homemade croutons. They added a nice crunch to the salad, too. As for the greens, I couldn’t find frisee at the store so I used escarole instead. Use whatever your heart desires. Just a quick note: make sure you let the egg whites just set. You want the yolk to be nice and runny to give the salad a golden glaze of the rich yolk when you cut into it.

Kevin was very pleased with the outcome and commented on how this version had to be better than the one he saw on TV. I just love feeding him.

Asparagus and proscuitto salad with egg, mustard, shallots and frisee

7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, peeled and sliced into 4 thick slice
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons grain mustard
8 ounces asparagus, peeled if thick, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable stock or water
2 heads frisee, washed and cut into small pieces
8 slices of proscuitto
Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small ovenproof sauté pan. Put shallots in pan and sprinkle with salt. Turn stove on high and cook until shallots begin to sizzle. Cover with a lid or foil and place in oven until tender but not falling apart, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

For the eggs:

Place a pan large enough to hold 4 eggs on medium high heat. After a minute, spray the pan with vegetable spray to coat the bottom and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the eggs and immediately place in the oven to cook. After about 3-4 minutes when the whites are set, they are ready.

For the vinaigrette:

Place juice, vinegar, mustard and a pinch of salt in to a mixing bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Check seasoning and reserve.

Heat a medium sauté pan on high heat and add remaining oil. When oil is just below smoking point, add asparagus and cook until lightly brown, about 3-5 minutes depending on thickness. Add shallots and toss on heat for 30 seconds. Take off the flame and add seeds and toast for about 20-30 seconds. Then add stock or water to prevent further browning.

Dress frisee with vinaigrette and divide onto 4 plates or shallow bowl. Top with 2 slices of proscuitto and 1 egg in each bowl. Spoon over asparagus and eat.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe courtesy of Today show.

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