Asparagus Alert!

By Wini Moranville

Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market opens Saturday, and I’ll be poking around the stalls for some fresh local asparagus. Here’s how I love serving this harbinger of spring, using ingredients from a few of my favorite local food shops. I suggest serving this platter as a sit-down course instead of a salad; it’s also an eye-catching addition to a potluck table.

Roasted Asparagus with Mayo-Dressed Eggs and La Quercia Prosciutto

1          pound asparagus, trimmed

1          tablespoon Vom Fass lemon olive oil

4          hard-boiled eggs, cut in half
2          tablespoons good-quality bottled mayonnaise
1          teaspoon Dijon mustard
1          teaspoon Vom Fass herb vinegar

1          tablespoon fresh parsley, chives, tarragon or chervil, or a combination

Salt and ground pepper to taste

To Finish:
La Quercia prosciutto
Piment d’Espelette (a crushed chili from the Basque country)
Shavings of Ossau-Iraty, Manchego or other medium-to-hard sheep’s-milk cheese.

1. For the asparagus, preheat oven to 450°F. Place the asparagus spears in a large, shallow roasting pan. Rub each spear with enough lemon olive oil to coat but do not oversaturate.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Spread the asparagus into a single layer. Roast until crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

3. For the eggs, cut the eggs in half lengthwise. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, herb(s), and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Arrange asparagus, eggs and prosciutto on a platter. Dollop a little of the mayonnaise mixture atop the eggs. Top asparagus with shavings of cheese.  If desired, serve with a bowl of olives and breadsticks. Makes 4 servings.

Sources: Find the oil and vinegar at Vom Fass (833 42nd St., 244-5020); Piment d’Espelette at Allspice (400 E. Locust St, 868-0808); and sheep’s milk cheese at either Gateway Market (2002 Woodland Ave., 243-1754) or The Cheese Shop of Des Moines (833 42nd St., 528-8181).


You May Also Like

Radicchio Revolution?

By Wini Moranville Could radicchio be the new kale? Better yet, could Des Moines ...

Festive Party Wines

When you stock up on holiday wines now, it’s one less thing to deal ...

Soft Seating

By Wini Moranville One of the first things I noticed in my recent preview ...