Recipe: Chilled asparagus with vinaigrette and eggs mimosa

(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Chilled asparagus with vinaigrette and eggs mimosa

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes plus chilling time

Servings: 4


Note: Adapted from Thomas Keller’s “Bouchon.”

House vinaigrette

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

11/2 cups canola oil

Combine the mustard and vinegar in a blender and blend at medium speed for about 15 seconds. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of the oil. Don’t be tempted to add all the oil to the blender or the vinaigrette will become too thick. It should be very creamy.

Transfer the vinaigrette to a small bowl and, whisking constantly, slowly stream in the remaining 1 cup oil. (This makes about 2 cups vinaigrette, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks; should the vinaigrette separate, use a blender or immersion blender to reemulsify it.)

Asparagus and assembly

2 pounds medium asparagus

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra for drizzling

Kosher salt

4 hard-cooked large eggs

2 large radishes

Scant 3 tablespoons House vinaigrette

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced chives

1. Remove and discard the tough ends of the asparagus. Line up the asparagus spears, tips facing the same direction, on a cutting board and trim the ends so that the spears are of equal length, reserving the trimmings. Cut the trimmings into 1-inch lengths and reserve 2 cups of them for the sauce; do not peel them as the peel will make the sauce a vivid green. Set aside. Peel the asparagus spears, beginning about 1 inch below the base of the tip.

2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath.

3. Divide the asparagus spears into 4 piles, again with the tips facing the same way. Cut 4 pieces of kitchen twine about 2 feet long and tie the spears into secure bundles.

4. When the water is boiling, add the asparagus and blanch until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath, but leave the water boiling.

5. Add the trimmings to the boiling water and blanch until tender enough to puree, 4 to 7 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, when the asparagus bundles are cold, transfer to paper towels, remove the twine and drain, then dry well. Cover and refrigerate the asparagus for at least 15 minutes. (The asparagus can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead.)

7. When the asparagus trimmings are tender, remove them and reserve about 1/2 cup of the water. Drain the asparagus pieces in a strainer and immediately plunge the strainer into the ice bath. Once the asparagus are cool, remove them from the strainer and drain them on paper towels.

8. Add the asparagus trimmings to a blender, along with just enough of the reserved cooking liquid to allow the blade to turn, about 3 tablespoons. Pulse to break up the asparagus, then blend to a puree. It may be necessary to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender several times; be patient. Add more of the cooking liquid only if necessary. When the puree is smooth, blend in the 1 tablespoon oil. Season to taste with salt. Strain the puree if there are any fibers in it. (You should have about 1/2 cup. Cover and refrigerate the puree for at least 15 minutes, or up to a day.)

9. To complete: Remove the yolks from the hard-cooked eggs. Reserve the whites for another use. Push the yolks through the large holes of a grater, then finely chop.

10. Wash the radishes and cut off and discard the tops and bottoms. Thinly slice the radishes, then cut the slices into thin sticks.

11. Arrange the asparagus on a work surface in 4 stacks, with all the tips facing the same direction. Sprinkle each stack with a pinch of salt.

12. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the asparagus puree into a pool in the center of each serving plate. Top with the asparagus spears. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of vinaigrette over the center of each mound of spears. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons chopped egg yolks over the vinaigrette on each portion, then sprinkle the yolks with a pinch each of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

13. Toss the radishes with the chives, 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide the radish mixture between each serving, placing it on top of the egg yolks and drizzle lightly with additional oil. Serve cold.

Each serving: 211 calories; 6 grams protein; 5 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 19 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 213 mg. cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 96 mg. sodium.