Grilled Asparagus & Egg Salad
THIS. IS. INCREDIBLE. Oh, and happy Easter!
Grilled Asparagus & Egg Salad
1 egg yolk
8 hard-boiled eggs (cooked for 8 minutes)
200 ml vegetable oil (sunflower or canola oil, NO olive oil!!!)
1/4 t salt (plus more for sprinkling)
fresh ground pepper
dill fronds for garnish
350 g green asparagus grilled (in a panini machine)
1 t olive oil (good quality)
2 t dried tarragon (or 4 t fresh)
2 t tarragon white wine vinegar
15 g dijon mustard (about 1 T)
1-2 t lemon juice
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the dijon, egg yolk, vinegar and dried tarragon (if using fresh tarragon, add it with the lemon juice & salt at the end). Mix well so that it has the consistency of honey. Without this step, your mayonnaise will never come together properly. Then slowly add the oil and mix as best you can at the same time. Occasionally, I add some oil and then set the bottle down so I can mix it together faster while using both hands. You can also wrap a kitchen towel around the bottom of the mixing bowl and it will help keep it from moving as you mix. Do not add the oil too quickly or it can separate. Once the mayonnaise is stiff, you can add the salt and lemon juice. Then whip it up really well one last time. Make sure it is seasoned well. It needs to be tart because the eggs and mayonnaise make for a very creamy salad. This acidic mayonnaise helps cut through the fattiness of the dish.
Heat up a pot of water that can hold all 8 eggs. Once boiling add the eggs gently so they will not break when they touch the bottom. Let them cook in boiling/bubbling water but not hard boiling water for 8 minutes. If you wish for your salad to be cold, once cooked for the 8 minutes immediately strain and cover them with some cold water and ice cubes (or running cold water if you do not have ice cubes) for at least 5 minutes . If you want the eggs to be a little warm, drop them in cold water until they are no longer too hot to handle. Then the eggs themselves will still be warm as you peel them. But do be careful.
Turn on your panini machine. If you do not have one, you can use a BBQ, an oven or pan sauté them if you need to. You just want to make sure they are NOT overcooked. They need to be able to bend but not too easily. I sear them for about 3 minutes in the panini machine. In an oven it can take about 15 minutes at 350 F (175 C), BBQ a few minutes, and sautéing in a pan with oil for 2-4 minutes depending on their thickness. If you want to ensure a beautiful green color on the plate when pan-sautéing or BBQ-ing, you can blanch them first in heavily-salted boiling water for 2 minutes and then cook in a pan/BBQ with a little oil for a couple more minutes. I don't recommend the oven for this dish, because they can tend to dry out a bit and in this dish you want all the moisture they contain. The panini machine is best! It's fast and leaves little clean up.
Cut about 2 inches of the bottoms of your asparagus off and save for making stock. Toss them in oil and s&p. Place them in the hot panini machine and push the top down hard to ensure you get some grill marks. Once finished, set them on a plate to cool. Always remember once something is hot, it still continues to cook as it cools. Next, gently quarter your eggs and toss very carefully in about 80 grams of the mayonnaise. Lay the grilled asparagus in a line (like grass) on the plate and carefully set the eggs on top of them. Then add some dill fronds on the top. They look great but also add a punch of a different herby flavor. Sprinkle with more salt & pepper if needed.