We’re delighted to introduce Alexandra of the blog Alexandra Cooks. Ali discovered her love of cooking while working as a prep cook in a restaurant in Philadelphia! We’re thrilled to have one of her recipes for you today.
About this time of year every year, I crave this salad, a combination of asparagus and endive dressed with a simple vinaigrette and lots of chopped chives. I learned to make it years ago while working in Philadelphia from a French-trained chef who would toss the asparagus spears and endive slivers in his version of sauce gribiche, a combination of olive oil, lemon, capers, cornichons, shallots, hard-boiled egg and a handful of herbs.
Here, the dressing has been simplified, but the preparation is the same: asparagus are blanched in boiling water for no more than 2 minutes and shocked in an ice bath to stop the cooking and to preserve their bright green hue. Once cool and dry, the spears are dressed with olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, capers and lots of chives, but any number of herbs would be nice, tarragon in particular.
When entertaining for brunch, I think it’s always nice to offer something fresh to counter the richness of the buttery pastries and salty meats. This salad, colorful and crisp, is a lovely way to usher in spring after a long season of roasting and stewing, and while it’s nice as a side dish, with a sprinkling of chopped hard-boiled egg it can play a bigger role on the brunch table.
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 heads endive
- kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon capers, or more to taste
- 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water. When it comes to a boil, drop the asparagus into the water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the asparagus and drop them in the ice bath.
- Meanwhile, halve the endive heads lengthwise, then cut each half into thin slices. Transfer endive slices to a large bowl. Drain asparagus and pat dry. Add to salad bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Add capers and chives to bowl. Use your hands to gently toss everything together. Taste. Season with more salt, pepper, capers, etc. Transfer salad to serving platter.
Alexandra received the following Ballard Designs products to use in her post. Her opinions are all her own:
Find more fantastic recipes like the one you see here on Alexandra’s blog, Alexandra Cooks.