Here is an easy recipe for Asparagus and Egg Salad which I plan to make for Easter dinner. The combination of green asparagus, white hard-boiled eggs, and sweet red pepper make this an attractive and colorful vegetable side-dish.Not only is asparagus and egg salad quick to prepare, but it can be made earlier in the day, then chilled in the ‘fridge until served or taken on the road to Grandma’s house. It is a natural accompaniment for ham, lamb or any special-occasion meats. And there’s one last reason to make a salad with asparagus and eggs: they are both signs of spring.
Perhaps the egg symbol is so over-commercialized it is tired, but asparagus is a special sign of joy to anyone living in rural Wisconsin. Darlene Kronschnabel, author of Seasons In A Country Kitchen Cookbook, writes:
“One of the tremendous benefits of country living in the spring is picking wild asparagus. In fact, I hold my breath each spring not quite believing the season is here until I see the delicate green shoots peeping out to greet the sunshine. Then I know spring is here. For, if the ground is warm enough for the asparagus to grow, it is warm enough to plant the garden…The best way to gather wild asparagus is to take a small child by the hand and leisurely walk the farm fence lines. You will rediscover the wonder of nature while eager young eyes will discover the joys of finding the tender green spears hidden beneath last year’s dried ferns.”
Click on “continue reading…” for Darlene’s recipe for asparagus and egg salad. You’ll be glad you did.
Seasons In A Country Kitchen has a chapter devoted to spring asparagus recipes. They range from soups to salads, side-dishes to main-dishes. I’m positive Darlene has a dessert recipe calling for asparagus, but she’s probably holding it for the next edition. Darlene’s Seasons In A Country Kitchen is one of my more reliable cookbooks. By this I mean that whatever I’ve made has been tasty and easy enough to make again. I’ve learned I can trust this cookbook; it’s okay to try a new recipe on a day I’m entertaining company. I also like Darlene’s flair for color. It’s clear she considers food’s appearance as well as its flavor. The dishes are pretty, which is also why I turn to her cookbook when I’m serving guests.
It’s funny though, I didn’t pick up the book because of its recipes but because of Darlene’s graciously-written, home-spun stories about living in rural Wisconsin during the mid-1900’s. Darlene’s descriptions of farm life and farm community give an enchanted insight into a world that is slipping away in a digital age.
Anyway, I better publish this web-post soon, so here’s Darlene Kronschnabel’s recipe for Asparagus and Egg Salad:
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Dash paprika for garnish, optional
- Lettuce leaves for garnish, optional
- Red pepper rings for garnish, optional
Wash asparagus and snap off woody ends. Cut each spear into 1-inch lengths; there should be about 3-4 cups. In a medium saucepan, combine asparagus and water; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Drain. Rinse asparagus under cold water. Chill. Slice egg into quarters. In a large bowl, combine asparagus, eggs, and onion; toss lightly to blend. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper; mix until well-blended. Pour over asparagus mixture. Serve chilled. Arrange the salad in a serving bowl and sprinkle with paprika if desired, or line serving plates with lettuce leaves and garnish with red pepper rings if desired. Makes about 6 servings.
Cristie’s notes: Because I enjoy salads with a less-than-usual amount of dressing on them, I mixed up only half of the salad dressing which Darlene calls for. For me, this reduced proportion tasted great. I also used the paprika because I love the flavor of hard-boiled eggs and paprika. Heed Darlene’s words when she says only cook the asparagus for 5 minutes and then rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. You really do want the asparagus to be crisp. If it gets limp and soggy it will be “yuk”.