Asparagus “Nicoise” Salad

This is an amazing spring twist on nicoise salad – make it with fresh asparagus and high quality black olives and parmesan.  It’s complemented by the acidity of the lemon.  Adapted from the River Cafe Cook Book Green.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg asparagus (the thinner the stalks, the better)
  • 6 eggs
  • 80 g black olives, pitted
  • 3 T flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tin anchovies in olive oil, drained
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 150 g (or more) parmesan cheese, shaved
  • a couple handfulls of arugula
  • Maldon salt and extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Beak off the tough ends of the asparagus, and blanch for 5 minutes.  Drain and wash with cold water to cool, then season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  2. Put eggs into a medium saucepan, cover with water (the water should be at least 1/2″ above the eggs), and bring to a boil.  As soon as the water starts boiling, turn off the heat and cover – let stand for 6-7 minutes.
  3. Drain eggs and dunk in an ice bath to cool.  After a few minutes, when they are cooled, peel and cut eggs into quarters lengthwise.
  4. On a large plate, arrange asparagus spears on top of arugula.  Arrange olives, parsley, and eggs on top.  Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, the sprinkle with parmesan shavings.