Asparagus Herb Salad with Soft Boiled Egg
This fresh, colorful Asparagus and Herb Salad with Soft Boiled Egg is the definition of spring on a plate! Fresh, crisp salad greens mixed with fresh herbs like mint, basil, parsley and dill bring a vibrant flavor to the salad along with tender, seasonal asparagus and the perfect soft boiled egg. And all these guys get dressed in a mint, lemon vinaigrette.
Perfect for those warmer days and evenings when you don’t feel much like cooking. There’s only minimal cooking involved in this salad so don’t worry about turning on the oven and heating up the kitchen. Plus, you can make everything ahead so you cook once and eat for days.
You could call this a light, farm-to-table meal, full of nutrients with added protein from the perfect soft boiled egg. I used a 6 minute soft boiled egg, but a poached egg can also be used. Use my handy guide of How to Poach an Egg to create the perfect cooked egg. The key is to get ‘egg gravy’ that blends with the dressing to make it extra creamy. This also adds another interesting yet tasty element to the salad.
The dressing that accompanies this salad is a light mint and lemon vinaigrette. This flavorful dressing enhances and complements the herbs in the salad perfectly.
My favorite mantra is this: herbs are an easy and delicious way to add flavor to dishes and I always add them to all my dishes. Like adding them to Herb and Garlic Marinated Mushrooms and even making a herb sauce that can be used as a dressing or marinade.
Whatever your favorites are. I like the lemony flavor of basil, grassy Italian parsley and dill which also has a mild citrus flavor with a little grassy undertone.
When the ingredients of this salad are properly stored, you can eat this dish for days. Here are my tips:
Storing Salad Greens
Make sure your greens are fresh when you buy them (no browning). Refrigerate whole lettuce heads immediately when you get home in their original packaging or transfer to sealed bags and line with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Right before using, fill a bowl with very cold water and add as much of the greens as you need.
This serves 2 purposes, it revives any wilted greens and also washes them. Agitate lightly with your fingers to release any dirt. Dry on a towel or use a salad spinner.
Salad Dressing in a Jar
The best way to blend and emulsify a salad vinaigrette is by using a well sealed jar. Add all the ingredients, screw on the lid tightly and give it a good shake. That’s it!
Salad dressing tip: Always use a ratio of 1:3, acid (citrus or vinegar) to oil.
Spring is the perfect time for fresh asparagus and it’s helpful to know how to pick the best asparagus when shopping. First, look at the head. You want the ends to be tightly closed. The asparagus should be as green as possible, fading in color toward the stem. They should be straight and firm to the touch. The bundle should all be similar in length.
Storing fresh asparagus
You can do this one of two ways, while keeping them bundled together. 1. Wrap the stems in a wet paper towel and store in a sealed bag in the refrigerator, or, 2. Add a little cold water to a tall container, stand them upright in the water and refrigerate. Both methods will allow them to last 3-4 days.
To check where the asparagus wants to be trimmed (cutting off the woody ends) hold the asparagus at both ends then bend until it breaks. That’s your cut point.
Tips for the perfect soft-boiled egg
- Start with room temperature eggs, this way the cooking times will be more accurate. If the eggs are cold, they will take longer.
- Once they have boiled for the appropriate amount of time, remove at once and add to ice water immediately to stop the cooking process and to also prevent a grey ring from forming around the yolk.
- To easily peel the egg, wait until it has cooled. Then gently crack the shell all over and leave in the water for a minute or so, then peel.
How long to boil an egg?
This depends on whether you want the yolk, hard, or runny. It also depends on whether your eggs are cold or room temperatures. Here is a quick reference cooking guide for eggs that are room temperature:
|Soft Yolk||6 minutes|
|Hard Yolk||15 minutes|