Asparagus - the perfect side dish


IMG_0482


When asked to bring a vegetable side dish to a birthday celebration, my immediate choice was asparagus. Of course, not everyone likes asparagus, but you can never please everyone!


I needed something I could make in the morning before church, keep in my car during church, then bring to the celebration afterward and serve without the need to cook it or even heat it.


What I like about asparagus is the fact that it’s equally tasty and attractive served warm, at room temperature or cold. The classic French vinaigrette I used also lends itself well to different temperatures, unlike butter which gets lumpy when melted and cooled. Adding a finely chopped egg gives color and interest to the dish. 


This still took a little extra planning of course, since I had to carry and keep it in the car. 


I started off by boiling some eggs, according to my experiments on “How to Boil the Perfect Egg,” a section in my cookbook.  See how perfectly they turn out every time? 


IMG_1248


Be sure to use pasture raised eggs if you want these bright yellow yolks!


Next, I needed to make a classic French Vinaigrette. To do so, start with some shallots. Here’s what they look like, in case you’re not familiar with them.


DSCN6285


I used one clove of the shallot bulb. I chopped it finely, which releases more flavor. Shallots have a very mild onion taste, perfect for salad dressing.


DSCN6287


I placed the shallots, vinegar, salt and pepper into a medium bowl and let it stand while I prepared the asparagus.


DSCN6290


I tossed the asparagus spears in 1/2 tablespoon of refined olive oil (for high heat use)…


image1


… and seasoned them with a little salt and pepper.


DSCN6292


I placed the spears on a baking sheet and roasted them for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.


DSCN6298


To finish the vinaigrette, I stirred in the Dijon mustard. (Be sure to choose an authentic Dijon like Maille, if you can.)


DSCN6295


I slowly added the extra virgin olive oil as I whisked it in, along with some chopped rosemary.


DSCN6296


DSCN6297


By the way, this classic French vinaigrette is what I serve on green salads too. There’s really no reason at all to buy bottled dressings that contain all sorts of unhealthy and/or unnecessary ingredients. This is easy to whip up and tastes so much better than the purchased stuff.


I packed each part of my asparagus dish in a separate container, then placed it all in an insulated bag with ice packs.


Luckily, it was a cool day, and I was blessed to find one of a few shaded parking spaces, even though I was late to church. (Thank you, God!)


After church, I went to the celebration and was able to quickly assemble the parts. It looked beautiful in spite of sitting in the car for over an hour. It tasted great too!


IMG_0481



The next time you need a quick and easy side dish for home or to take somewhere, give this a try.


Click here for the recipe.

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™