Inside Out (Australia)

asparagus with tarragon mustard dressing, hazelnuts and soft-boiled egg

- by Andrew McConnell



4 eggs 60g hazelnuts 20 asparagus spears 1 tbsp olive oil

1 large (or 2 small) golden shallots, thinly sliced


3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp cream

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp picked and chopped tarragon leaves

1 To cook the eggs, bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer. When boiling, gently lower the eggs into the water, one at a time. Set a timer and simmer for exactly 6 minutes, then refresh in cold water. When cool, peel and leave at room temperatur­e until you wish to serve the salad.

2 Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Roast the hazelnuts for 3—5 minutes until the skin has started to blister. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to handle, rub the nuts with a slightly damp cloth to remove the skin. Any stubborn pieces of skin can be removed by scraping away with a small paring knife. Chop the hazelnuts to a coarse meal and set aside.

3 To prepare the dressing, take a large bowl big enough to toss the asparagus. With a spoon, mix together the olive oil, mustard, cream, lemon juice and tarragon. Set aside.

4 To cook the asparagus, trim any tough, woody parts from the base of each spear. Preheat a charcoal grill, barbecue or stovetop griddle pan to very hot. Toss the asparagus in olive oil and grill for 1—2 minutes until the skin begins to blister.

5 Transfer the cooked asparagus to a chopping board and slice lengthways in half. Toss in the tarragon mustard dressing and the sliced shallots. Taste a spear of asparagus to see if it needs a pinch of salt. Divide the asparagus salad between plates. Peel the eggs, slice in half and place 2 halves on each salad. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on and around the salad to serve.

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