Posted on June 14, 2011 at 10:00 AM
Tuesday, Jun 14 at 8:34 AM
Grilled Asparagus Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette and a Crispy Egg
By: Chef James Walt
Araxi Restaurant + Bar
After a long winter of cellared root crops and endless vegetable peeling, asparagus finally signals the arrival of spring. At the restaurant, we use asparagus from North Arm Farm in the Pemberton Valley, which has some of the best-tasting, freshest asparagus available. This recipe uses curry salt and grilling to highlight the asparagus flavour. Trim asparagus by snapping the spears between your fingers to break the stalks, then use a knife to sharpen them like a pencil.
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
¾ cup sherry vinegar
2 cups grapeseed oil
24 spears asparagus, trimmed
1 ½ kosher salt
½ tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
6 organic eggs
12 cups peanut or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
½ cup whole milk
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a small bowl, whisk together the grainy mustard and the sherry vinegar until well combined. Slowly add the grapeseed oil in a thin stream, whisking continuously until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Preheat a grill or barbecue to high heat.
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil on high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Using tongs, remove the asparagus and plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking, then arrange them on a tea towel to dry.
In a small bowl, combine the salt and curry powder. In a large shallow bowl, gently toss the asparagus and the olive oil, then sprinkle liberally with the curry salt. Grill the asparagus for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until lightly charred. Remove from the grill (or barbecue) and keep warm.
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a medium saucepan on high heat, heat 12 cups/3 L of water. Add the white vinegar and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, or until the water is just simmering. Crack 4 eggs into individual ramekins or coffee cups. Swirl the water with a large spoon, then, one at a time, quickly pour the eggs into the water. Poach each egg for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the ice water to stop the cooking. Once the eggs are cool, trim any ragged edges so the whites form nice rounds. Carefully pat the eggs dry with a tea towel.
Fill a deep pot or a wok to two-thirds full with peanut (or vegetable) oil and heat it to 330°f/165°c (use a deep-fat thermometer to check the temperature). In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 eggs with the milk. Combine the flour and a pinch of salt in a second bowl and the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a third bowl. One at a time, carefully dredge the poached eggs in the seasoned flour, then dip them in the beaten egg mixture and coat them with the bread crumb mixture. Deep-fry the eggs for 1 minute until golden brown (the eggs will still be runny inside), then use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a paper towel to drain. Lightly season with salt.
Arrange 6 spears of asparagus on each plate, then drizzle with the vinaigrette. Top each serving with a crispy egg and serve immediately.
Asparagus is known to make wine taste nasty; a New Zealand or Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is best, or try Chinon or B.C. Cabernet Franc for a red.