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Asparagus Salad with Celery Leaves, Quail Eggs, and Tarragon Vinaigrette

Updated February 23, 2016

Cookbook

The Gourmet Cookbook

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This image courtesy of Romulo Yanes

Makes4 servings

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, kosher, vegetarian

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Textureherby, light, savory, tangy

Type of Dishsalad

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

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.

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