Layered Spring Salad
Fresh seasonal vegetables are the savory centerpiece of this impressive layered salad. Presented in a single bowl, the recipe is ideal for serving to guests-until you begin to scoop out portions, no one knows what delicious surprises linger beneath the top layer.
- Yield: Serves 5
- Coarse salt (to taste)
- 25 to 30 stalks asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 to 3 finely chopped shallots
- 1/2 pound well cleaned morels
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- 2 tablespoons tablepsoons Homemade Chicken Stock Homemade Chicken Stock, skimmed of fat, or water
- 1 clove roasted garlic (optional)
- 2 washed heads of radicchio
- 5 slices prosciutto, preferably center cut
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 pinch granulated sugar (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons freshly picked cilantro
- 5 cups washed baby salad green
- 1/4 cup freshly picked chervil
- 2 tablespoons Rice-wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Canola oil
- 1 slice bread
- 5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil, and add asparagus. Cook until bright green and tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove asparagus from water, and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Remove from ice water, drain, and set aside.
Fill a large skillet with water, bring to a boil, and reduce to a gentle simmer. Carefully crack eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl, and then slide into simmering water. Poach eggs in simmering water. Using a skimmer, pull the whites over the yolks, until yolks are just set, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove eggs from the water with a skimmer, and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool and stop cooking.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add morels, wine, chicken stock, and roasted garlic, if desired. Season to taste with salt. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and reserve.
Place radicchio leaves in a large, shallow bowl. Arrange prosciutto on top in a decorative pattern.
Whisk balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar. Drizzle vinaigrette over prosciutto.
Sprinkle cilantro over top, and cover with baby greens. Arrange asparagus in five bunches on greens in a spokelike pattern. Top with chervil.
Whisk together rice-wine vinegar and canola oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over asparagus.
Remove poached eggs one by one, blotting them on a piece of bread (the bread acts as a natural sponge), and place each egg between two bunches of asparagus. Discard bread. Top with the morels. Garnish each egg with a sprig of parsley. Serve immediately.