Asparagus Salad with Celery Leaves, Quail Eggs, and Tarragon Vinaigrette
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe Courseappetizer, main course
Dietary Considerationappetizer, main course
Taste and Textureherby, light, savory, tangy
Type of Dishsalad
- 8 quail eggs
- 1 pound green asparagus (preferably thin), trimmed
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (preferably tarragon)
- 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup safflower or grapeseed oil
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings
- 3 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 cup pale green celery leaves (from center of bunch)
Cover eggs with cold water in a very small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, 5 minutes. Rinse eggs under cold running water to stop cooking, then peel and quarter.
Cut asparagus on a very sharp diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices (about 2 inches long), leaving 2-inch tips. Halve tips lengthwise if thicker than rest of slices. Arrange asparagus on a steamer rack and sprinkle with kosher salt. Steam, covered, over boiling water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
Whisk together vinegar and mustards. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking. Stir in shallot, 2 teaspoons tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste.
Toss asparagus and celery leaves with half of vinaigrette and mound on 4 plates. Tuck quail eggs decoratively into salads. Drizzle salads and plates with remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle with remaining teaspoon tarragon.
2004 Condast Publications