ad hoc…a brilliant idea by Thomas Keller. A community restaurant serving a 4 course family style dinner, in the small town of Yountville in Napa Valley. The food was fantastic! Fresh and perfectly prepared, but you have to eat what they’re serving that evening. Our first course was a beautiful asparagus and mushroom salad with homemade croutons, topped with a poached egg and drizzled with a light vinaigrette. This is my re-creation of the dish. This dish is very simple to make and can have many variations- you could steam the asparagus and wrap the spears in proscuitto, just drizzle olive oil over the dish or skip the meat all together. It is a delicious lunch or a great appetizer. I hope you’ll try it.
- 2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
- 6 to 12 large eggs
- 2 pounds medium asparagus spears, trimmed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
Blend extra-virgin olive oil, chives, and lemon juice in blender or processor until smooth. Stir in grated lemon peel. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (You can make the chive oil by hand with a whisk.) The chive oil can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Return to room temperature before using.
There are a few ways to poach eggs, but this way works well and you can make the poached eggs ahead. Fill 2 large bowls with ice water and ice, and set aside. Pour enough water into each of 2 large skillets to reach depth of 1 inch. Bring water to slow simmer over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons vinegar to each skillet. Carefully crack each egg into individual ramekins. Gently slide 1 egg at a time into simmering water, working in batches of 3 eggs for each skillet. Cook until whites are just set, about 3 -4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, very gently transfer eggs to bowls with ice water, being careful not to break eggs. The eggs can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate eggs in bowls of ice water.
*To re-heat the eggs: pour enough water into each of 2 large skillets to reach depth of 1 inch; bring to simmer. Using slotted spoon, transfer eggs to skillets; cook 1 minute for soft yolks.
Preheat broiler. Spread asparagus in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil; turn asparagus to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil asparagus for 6 minutes. Turn asparagus over and continue to broil until crisp-tender and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes longer. Divide asparagus among 6 plates and drape prosciutto slices over. Using slotted spoon, place 1 or 2 eggs atop each serving of asparagus and prosciutto. Drizzle chive oil over and around each serving. Pass remaining chive oil separately. Serves 6.