Fratelli Perata Winery

Asparagus Salad

This is a Piemonte, Italy manner to treat asparagus. After you’ve had your fill of nude asparagus, this dish is just in time for your spring get-togethers. What is more spring than asparagus? Simple, yet full of flavor, this delicious salad pairs beautiful asparagus with eggs. Think Potato Salad. It can be as formal as Easter dinner, or as informal as a side to some yummy chicken dinner or sandwich or weeknight dinner or simply a glass of Merlot. Look for tender small sized asparagus stalks and use your best Parmigiano-Reggiano.

2 pounds medium asparagus, no tough guys, but not less than pencil sized
4 eggs, hardboiled
1 red onion, medium size, diced (see “method” below)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
salt and fresh ground pepper

Prepare asparagus by snapping off any woody ends. Steam or boil until fork tender, not mushy. Drain, then rinse in a cold water bath to stop them from continuing to cook. Drain well, then cut into sections about the width of the tine end of your dinner fork. Set aside.

Chop the shelled, hardboiled eggs, 1/2 the size of the asparagus: not so small they are invisible, but not so large that that’s all you can get on your fork. Put in a large bowl and put in the refrigerator. Peel the red onion, cut in 1/4, rinse under cold water. If your red onion has any harshness, this will mellow it so it doesn’t overpower the salad. Dice the onion. Add to bowl with eggs. Mix Dijon mustard, butter, cream. Add Parmigiano, mix. Add to eggs and red onion, mixing well. Add asparagus, mixing all ingredients gently. Salt and pepper according to taste.

This is surprisingly good with Merlot. We don’t usually include asparagus in a red wine pairing, but hen we do it is amazing.