A salad should be spectacular, the ingredients highlighting the produce on the plate. This salad is a combination of flavors that compliment each other beautifully.
The tender asparagus is beautiful with the sharp radish and complimented by the salt and fat from the speck and the cheese. The creamy egg yolks add the perfect balance to the salad. In India I have not been able to find speck, so I substituted prosciutto, it worked just as well. Light, fresh and decadent, this is the perfect "wow" salad on your table.
This is a specialized cookbook filled with absolutely fabulous salads. I was browsing through a bookshop, when they existed, and in the cookbook section and found this gem and had to buy it immediately, something I rarely do. The salads are complex, loads of ingredients that are paired uniquely and beautifully, as in this salad. This is a cookbook I had to have, and I highly recommend for any salad lover.
For more delicious recipes from this cookbook click here.
5 oz. Italian speck or pancetta, finely diced
3 1/2 oz. Pecorino
12-15 asparagus spears
1 teaspoon oil
1-2 red radish, thinly sliced horizontally
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
To prepare the asparagus, trim off the bottoms with thick fibrous skins. Peel the remaining bottoms to remove any additional fiber. The asparagus are fine where they snap off when folded without leaving any strings.
Bring a pot of salted water to boil and blanch for 1 minute. Remove and cool under cold water. The spears should be cooked but maintain their crispness. No soggy asparagus please. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the diced speck/pancetta and sauté for 1 minute till the meat is crisp and the fat rendered. Remove and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
To make th poached egg yolks, separate the whites and yolks of the eggs. Bring a pot of water to a gentle simmer. Gently scoop a yolk onto an egg poacher and immerse into the water and allow the yolks to cook. Thy are cooked when firm on the outside, but runny inside. Set aside, about 3 minutes. Keep warm. I usually do this step last.
Add the asparagus and radish to a bowl and toss with the vinegar and olive oil. Layer onto a wide shallow bowl. Distribute the speck and shave some Pecorino on top in curls. Gently tip on the warm egg yolks and serve immediately with salt and pepper on the side.