Asparagus with mustard vinaigrette [Photo/The New York Times]
1 1/2 pounds large or medium asparagus
4 large eggs
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely cut chives.
1. Snap off and discard the tough bottoms of each asparagus spear. If using large, thick asparagus, peel the lower ends with a vegetable peeler. Medium asparagus will not need peeling.
2. Bring a medium saucepan half filled with water to a boil, carefully add the eggs and simmer briskly for 9 minutes (10 minutes for a slightly firmer yolk). Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool. Shell the eggs and set aside.
3. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, place the shallots, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let shallots soften for 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard, then whisk in the olive oil to make a thick dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. In a large stainless-steel soup pot bring 4 quarts of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until just done. Remove asparagus with a large strainer and spread out on a baking sheet lined with a clean kitchen towel. Asparagus may be served warm or at room temperature.
5. To serve, place asparagus on a platter or individual plates. Spoon the vinaigrette over the asparagus. Garnish with quartered eggs (or roughly chop the eggs if you prefer). Sprinkle with chives.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.