While the Lazy Cook would toss a bag of lettuce into a bowl and throw on some pre-shredded, low-fat cheese and call it a day, the Crazy Cook has a much more delicious idea, especially now that it’s asparagus season (yes!) I stumbled on a version of this at Macy’s State Street 7th floor cafe and made it my own. I love it for dinner, with a nice glass of white wine. It’s just enough cooking on a weeknight to separate you from “work mode.” Five basic ingredients (plus some homemade Champagne vinaigrette – easy), about 45 minutes and you have the most delightful, delicious dinner ever.
Roasted asparagus, shaved parmesan or grana padano, crispy greens and – surprise! – a poached egg – make big friends in a salad bowl for an easy and delish meal!
Here’s all you do:
1) Pre-heat oven to 400F. Meanwhile, rinse off your bunch of asparagus and snap off the ends (just bend each stalk until it snaps and chuck the tough, yucky end bit). Line a baking sheet with that fabulous Reynold’s Wrap & Release foil and put your asparagus on it. Drizzle on some olive oil (maybe 2 Tbls), a splash of Balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepp. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn it with tongs and roast another 15 minutes.
2) While the asparagus is roasting up, tear up your choice of greens – Romaine, butter lettuce, a little arugula, even head lettuce – whatever you like, and put into a salad bowl. Add some sliced grape tomatoes.
3) Boil up a cup or 2 of water in a small pan or skillet. When the asparagus is about 5 minutes away from being done, you’re ready to poach your egg. Make sure your water is simmering, not crazy boiling. Crack an egg into a small dish. Now, slowly, with the bowl close to the water, slip your raw egg into the water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the white is set. Slip it out with a slotted spoon and just park that spoon with the egg on it, onto a paper towel, to drain a bit.
4) While the egg’s poaching, get a vegetable peeler (I like the Y-shaped ones) and shave as much Parmesan or Grana Padano as you like, onto a cutting board.
5) Take your asparagus out of the oven, onto a cutting board. Cut them in half, or thirds, whichever you like.
5) Dress your greens and tomatoes with some tasty Champagne vinaigrette (1/2 C Olive oil, 1/4 Champagne vinager, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, salt and pepp to taste; whisk it up).
6) Assemble! Put the shaved Parm or Grana Padano onto the greens, top with the asparagus, and then the egg. The creamy yolk adds a touch of richness, plus it’s just happy – a sunny yellow and white egg. Add a nice glass of Chardonny or Viognier, maybe a fresh Albarino, and enjoy!