Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Asparagus is perfect for an Easter buffet


Asparagus Goldenrod is an elegant, easy to prepare dish that can be made ahead of time. It’s perfect for an Easter buffet and is a terrific dish served with baked ham. Basically it is poached asparagus, served cold with a light vinaigrette sauce and garnished with grated hard-boiled eggs. The name Goldenrod comes from the bright green asparagus garnished with yellow egg yolks. Classic dishes such as this were a mainstay on the menus of the grand hotels in a bygone era. It’s also known as Asparagus Mimosa because the grated hard-boiled eggs resemble mimosa blossoms.    

This recipe was in my Easter food column for the newspaper. We’ve made this classic dish for years but I was inspired by Sara at Sara’s Kitchen. She dressed hers up a bit with radishes, which gave it a nice crunch and made the presentation spectacular.

The preparation is simple, it takes only a few minutes to make and can easily be doubled or tripled to suit a crowd. Served on a platter it is a stunning looking dish that will elicit wows from your guests. The key is not overcooking the asparagus or the eggs.  I like to flavor my asparagus water with beef broth. It isn’t necessary but it does bring a nice flavor to the cooking broth. 

1 ½ lbs asparagus, tough lower ends snapped off
2 teaspoons salt
Beef broth
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar, if not available use freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Dash of hot sauce such as Tabasco
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 hard-boiled eggs at room temperature

After tough ends of asparagus have been removed, peel the remaining ends unless the asparagus is thin; if thin leave as is. Bring water flavored with beef broth and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a shallow pan. Add asparagus, turn heat to low and cook for about 4 minutes until asparagus is crisp tender, taking care not to overcook. Immediately plunge the asparagus in an ice water bath to stop the cooking and retain the green color. After a minute or two remove and dry well with a towel. Chill for about an hour.

To make the vinaigrette, put the vinegar, shallot, mustard, hot sauce and olive oil in a screw top jar with a lid and shake well to mix. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites and grate each, separately, on the coarse setting of a cheese grater. Arrange the asparagus on a platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Decoratively arrange the egg whites and yolks on the asparagus. Serves 4.


Katherine at Smoky Mountain Café has passed the Adorable Blog Award to me. Katherine was originally from New Orleans but Hurricane Katrina blew her family up to East Tennessee. Smoky Mountain Café is a very professional food blog filled with great recipes and photographs. Louisiana’s loss is definitely Tennessee’s gain. Thank you Katherine very much for this adorable award. 

I happily pass the Adorable Blog Award to Joie de Vivre and Tangled Noodle. They have done a fabulous job of reviewing a wonderful book, Mindless Eating. I bought the book and have been reading along with them. I’ve discovered so many things about how we eat, why we eat, and what makes some foods more enjoyable than others. Thank you for bringing this great book to my attention. My husband and I have learned so much good information that we are putting to good use in our daily food and drink choices. You both are truly adorable. 

37 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your award ., Sam and thank you for posting your recipe for asparagus golden rod. It really looks beautiful.

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  2. Your version looks so good! I love the addition of tarragon vinegar. I have a tarragon plant in my garden, I think I'll add some of that next time.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing this award! I am so pleased that you enjoyed the book and our discussion of it. One would think that food and eating are simple concepts: we eat to stay alive and because it tastes good! But it really is so much more than that and this book has shown me that by first understanding the 'why', I can better manage the 'how'.

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  4. Oh my goodness! I was so busy being pleased with the award that I neglected to compliment you on receiving first! Congratulations - I have greatly enjoyed my vicarious visits to France with you!

    And thank you for this asparagus recipe. My in-laws are joining us for a traditional Easter Sunday meal and I've been looking for a nice side dish. I love how bright it is and the fact that it is a cold dish. I can't wait to try it!

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  5. Your right about this being a perfect side for Easter. I love the addition of the tarragon vinegsr.

    Thank you for you kind words!

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  6. This would make a very pretty addition to a Spring Buffet:D

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  7. congrats on the well-deserved award!
    that asparagus goldenrod is aptly named. I've never thought of having asparagus with egg yolks. lovely!

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  8. Sam,
    Thank you so much! I think you are adorable too! I just love your travel series so much. And this asparagus dish DOES look perfect for Easter. I'm so happy asparagus season is finally upon us. Sunday I roasted some and drizzled balsamic vinegar on top and shaved on some parmesean. It's my go to recipe for asparagus, but with CSA season gearing up, I'm going to need some other ideas. Thanks.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. French Fridays is helping me keep my weight loss goals at the front of my mind. I'm so pleased to hear they are helping you too. I agree that Tangled Noodle did an excellent job as well. :)

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  9. Sam,
    Congratulations upon receiving the award.
    This recipe looks great for Easter. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Happy Easter!

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  10. Congratulations! I would love to eat those asparagus.

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  11. Your asparagus dish looks just perfect for Easter!

    Thanks for stopping by to visit on 'My Front Porch'. Since you are totally into food...I'm thinking you might enjoy a cooking blog I contribute to. Check it out at...
    http://mennonitegirlscancook.blogspot.com/

    Judy

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  12. Hi Sam, first time here........and the asparagus looks gorgeous!Congratulations on ur award!!!

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  13. Simply yum Sam..!! Asparagus n all thoe hard boiled eggs makes a divine combo..Slurpp..!!!

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  14. This would sodefinitely be a hit at Easter. It looks fabulous!! Perfect! Love the combo you chose.

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  15. Your awards are really piling up....I am not amazed, you are a great blogger!!! I love the simplicity of this dish!!!

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  16. Congrats on your recent award, Sam!!

    I adore asparagus!! They are coming in season now, so I can try this yummie recipe! I want to substitute the green asparagus for the white, more expensive ones!
    The white asparagus are more delicatly in flavour, I think!
    Happy Easter to you & your family!!

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  17. I've loving all the asparagus available right now. I had a dish like this in my mind the other day, but couldn't find a recipe to support what I thought it should be. The contrast of colors is great - now I can make it!

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  18. in response to your comment:
    real gruyere from France? sounds amazing! what's so different that makes it "real?" I'm intrigued!

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  19. lol: I thought it looked familiar, and then I saw you mentioned it was inspired by Sara :) It all makes sense now.

    Love asparagus! Can't wait till its price goes down a bit.

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  20. I've seen variations of this dish and want to make it but Lon hates hard-boiled eggs.

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  21. Love the photo and the recipe. Congrats on your award. BTW, I did pass on the sisterhood award and gave you a shout-out on my blog.

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  22. Love your photo and will try this recipe! I'm blogging today about asparagus too!

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  23. Sam,
    My youngest loved the rabbit and requested it again when we were at the meat market today.

    I linked to your blog in the raspberry sorbet post I did on Sunday for suggesting Simple to Spectacular. I can't believe I had never looked in that book and it was sitting right on my shelf! Along with the raspberry sorbet, the mashed potatoes also came from that book.

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  24. I have never seen this dish, but it does look like a perfect accompaniment to my spiral cut ham. I am going for a simple dinner this year, and this fits the bill. Thank you for sharing and congrats on your award.

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  25. Congratulations on this most deserved award!

    This dish is lovely and a twist on what we often ate in Italy (and what I have been craving lately): steamed asparagus topped with an egg sunny-side up with shavings of Parmesan. Beautiful! Eggs and asparagus are a perfect combo!

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  26. That recipe looks and sounds wonderful! My husband and I were just talking about fresh local asparagus yesterday! I look forward to making this. Thank you for sharing it with me.
    Penny

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  27. congratulations on the award! It is my first time here and Im glad to have found your blog!! :)

    loved the asparagus recipe. I always bake my asparagus, never boiled them before. great recipe!

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  28. I got my spanish paprika in a store here in Hendersonville called Rabbit and Co. It is a gourmet cooking store with specialty foods, pots, pans great wine etc.

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  29. Sam,
    Thanks for the tip on making my own Bisquick! It may help me be able to let the Bisquick go. Happy Easter to you!

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  30. Congratulations on your award. With dishes like these, it is well deserved.

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  31. This is indeed a fabulous Easter Brunch item. In fact it was something my mother always included in hers when I was a kid! She called it Asparagus Mimosa (which is also a yellow flower) GREG

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  32. Happy Easter Sam. The Asparagus looks wonderful. Will definitely make this a part of future Easter dinners.

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  33. We made this in high school. I haven't given it a thought since!

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  34. I had to come back and look at this asparagus again...yummmmm!

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  35. This looks beautiful - great presentation!

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  36. I saw this recipe on Sara's blog and was impressed. I love asparagus, don't you? Congratulations on the award!

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  37. Sam, thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my blog! I am honored to meet new bloggers, and I am still quite a novice. I will be sure to follow your blog on my reader!

    By the way, this asparagus looks just delicious, not to mention beautiful with the yellow/green!

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I enjoy reading each and every comment. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam