Spinach, Asparagus, Mushroom Salad with Egg
Because I eat out (A LOT), when I am home it has to be something nutrient dense and light. I eat lots of salads. There’s nothing precise about this recipe as I just take a couple handfuls of spinach, some chopped mushrooms or anything else I have on hand (tomato, grated carrot, sprouts, roasted beets, nuts, etc) and toss with salad dressing.
I make my dressings out of oil and vinegar at home so they’re fresh. Ratio of oil to vinegar is always 3-1. Use cider vinegar and olive oil, balsamic and hazelnut, sherry vinegar with grapeseed – mix it up, it doesn’t matter. Pour into a jar and add fresh herbs, mustard (currently on a jar of Denzels made with Crannog Stout, Honey and Thyme), crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Shake it up!
For the asparagus I shave the skin off the tougher ends and quickly saute in a teaspoon of butter and 1/8 cup water and a pinch of salt until the water disappears. Don’t overcook. Please.
Spinach mix with dressing on bottom, asparagus layer and then top with soft poached eggs, or chopped hard-boiled egg (I got distracted and hard poached my egg so this version is topped with that, don’t waste stuff), and grated Parmesan cheese (do not use powdered of I will come to your home and scream loudly at you – don’t be disgusting). Drizzle with a bit more dressing if desired. I usually add another pinch of salt, but I hear that’s not that trendy these days. Throw in a bread roll and it’s a quick dinner for me.
Wine pairing? This one’s tough as asparagus and the acid in salad dressings can overwhelm wine. Go for a French Sancerre or a fuller NZ Sauv Blanc (not the very grassy ones as then you’ve got grass, with grass). My twitter-pal and sommelier Dave McNeilly reminded my that Gruner Vetliner would work and I’d wager an Alsatian Gew wouldn’t offend, and hey, what’s wrong with beer? Nothing. Try a wheat ale such as Howe Sound Whitecap Wheat Ale. To really rock this pairing add a squeeze of orange juice into the dressing, or some very finely grated orange rind.