I had the good fortune recently to spend a few delightful days with my grandparents in Georgia. Nana and Pops, as us kids call them. When Sunday came around Nana sent me home with this handsome little plate. Isn't she sweet? Happily unattached from the set to which she once belonged, I tucked her into my suitcase with visions of lunch for one. Nana would be pleased to see her gift getting some action these days, though she'd disapprove of this particular use. You see, Nana detests vegetables. They could be steamed, sous vide, hand-plucked, or wild-foraged - it doesn't matter, she's not interested. I'll admit I did empathize with Nana the first time I heard the notion of raw asparagus salad. Sounds woody. And tough. I'm happy to report though that it's remarkably delicate, and dare I say, beats roasting. I won't go so far as to say this salad would convert my nana, but she's 91 so I'll give her a pass.
- 8 asparagus spears
- 2 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted
- 1 egg
- Pecorino cheese
- Olive oil
- Lemon wedge
- Sea salt
- Snap the woody end off asparagus spears. Using a vegetable peeler shave into ribbons leaving the tips intact. Add asparagus tips to to ribbons.
- Toss asparagus with pine nuts, a dusting of grated Pecorino, a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. Set aside.
- To poach egg bring a small saucepan of water with a glug of vinegar to a simmer (the vinegar will keep the whites from dispersing).
- Crack egg into a ramekin, keeping yolk intact
- Pour egg into the simmering water as close to the surface as possible (as opposed to letting it drop). Adjust heat if water is bubbling too vigorously.
- Poach egg for 2 minutes (for a soft boil) or 4 minutes for a firmer yolk; remove from water with a slotted spoon
- Let cool for a moment before topping salad with egg. Enjoy immediately.