Roasted asparagus with orange sauce and hard boiled eggs
One interesting thing I observed in Italy is that they do not mix foods on a plate. Vegetables, at least in restaurants, are served on separate plates and generally brought to you in sequence, not all together. I am told by my Italian “crew” here that in private homes they do serve more than one thing on a plate, but not in restaurants.
So, trying to extend our Italian adventure right here in my kitchen, I started to serve vegetables as a separate course even on a weeknight meal. I don’t know how long this will last but I am having fun with it for now.
A case in point is this asparagus dish that I made and served as a separate course as part of a simple mid-week dinner. I kind of liked it that way. It gives you a better chance to focus on the particular dish and pay attention to flavours and textures.
The recipe is slightly adapted from Laura Calder TV show on the Food Network. Unlike the reality style food shows on TV, hers is one of the last of the food shows where you actually learn how to cook something, not be merely entertained.
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 oranges (zest from one, juice from both)
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons ver juice (or use white wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
4 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Juice the oranges, place the juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a steady simmer and cook until the juice is reduced to 3-4 tablespoons.
Place the shallot in a small bowl and pour over the ver juice or vinegar. Let soak until the orange juice is ready, then drain and discard the liquids, reserving the shallot.
When the orange juice has reduce pour it into a cup or a small bow.
Add the shallot, orange zest, mustard and a little salt and pepper.
Drizzle in the olive oil and mix until emulsified.
Place the eggs in a small pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
Let boil 1 minute then remove from heat, cover, andlet stand 10 minutes.
Cool under running water, peel and chop roughly.
If you wish peel the bottom 1/3 of the asparagus with a vegetable peeler.
Lay the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Roast in a preheated 400F oven until just tender. Watch carefully, you don;’t want the asparagus to brown. Depending on how thick your asparagus, this can take between 5-10 minutes.
Remove the asparagus and arrange on a platter.
Drizzle asparagus with the dressing, then sprinkle with chopped hardboiled eggs.
Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper and serve warm or at room temperature.