Do I run too many asparagus recipes in the spring? Guilty as charged. With no apologies: Asparagus is one of those things that tastes fabulous when it's fresh and disappointing when it's frozen or canned. When it's in season, you have to eat your fill because it won't be back in season for 11 months.
Still, eating your way through that much asparagus can get a little repetitive. I've worked my way through several cooking methods -- microwave-steaming, oven-roasting, pan-braising. But what I wanted recently was a new way to top it.
I found just what I wanted on www.seriouseats.com, which in turn adapted it from Jacques Pepin: A really easy dressing with chopped hard-cooked egg. I made it for an impromptu dinner party this weekend and it was tempting to skip the asparagus and eat the dressing with a spoon. (The sauce made a lot, though: You could half the sauce ingredients and only use one or two eggs.)
Asparagus With Dijon Mustard Sauce and Hard-Cooked Egg
2 bunches thick asparagus, bottom ends trimmed or snapped off (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon minced chives (garnish; optional)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
PLACE the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 16 minutes. Remove eggs to a boil of ice water or rinse to cool. Peel and roughly chop.
COOK asparagus however you like (it works great with this microwave-steaming method from Alton Brown: www.obsbite.blogspot.com.
MIX mayonnaise, mustard, water and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
ARRANGE asparagus spears on a platter or on salad plates. Spoon the sauce over them. Top with chopped egg and chives (if you're into garnishing).
YIELD: 4 servings.
PHOTO: Serious Eats.