I think it can be difficult for most of us to get naturally excited about eating vegetables. Especially considering so many of us grow up seeing them as an enemy, often consuming sad, poorly prepared produce (whether that may mean boiled to death, baked to death, not seasoned well, etc.). That’s why I’m so thankful for Deborah Madison’s recipes, which always seem to take vegetables and make them so, so delicious. You take a bite out of one of her dishes and you have no idea how all those ingredients together made something so perfect and flavorful. Her recipes also feel so flexible, too, so you can add your own spin without destroying everything.
This asparagus dish is mind-blowing, and I don’t often say that about asparagus dishes. It is also quite lovely from a presentation perspective. I made one very minor change to this recipe: added walnuts. I thought this would help bolster the walnut flavor from the oil and add some extra crunch and tastiness. Walnut oil is something I only recently invested in, and I’ve got to say – it’s really worth it. If only for the below recipe or for this recipe, which is on my regular weeknight rotation.
Warm Asparagus & Walnut Salad
lightly adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Serves 4.
A few handfuls arugula
One bunch asparagus
One large shallot, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
3 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 hardboiled egg, chopped egg whites and whole egg yolk
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Combine shallot, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl and let sit until the salt dissolves (15 minutes). Whisk in the walnut oil.
Put arugula on large plate or serving platter and sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of the dressing on the lettuce.
Place asparagus in simmering water and cook until tender, approximately 5 minutes. When done, put the asparagus on top of the arugula. Immediately add the remaining dressing, the chopped up egg white, and the walnuts. Push the egg yolk through a fine mesh strainer (rubbing against the strainer like a grater if necessary). Serve to very impressed guests or your very impressed self.