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Dorie Greenspan’s Bacon and Egg and Asparagus Salad

Dorie Greenspan’s Bacon and Egg and Asparagus Salad
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I could eat our local asparagus until it was coming out of my ears.  Thanks to growers in Mexico and Peru,  asparagus is now a 12 month a year vegetable in New York and almost everywhere else. However, nothing but nothing comes close to the glorious look and taste of the asparagus grown right over the hill from our house at the Falkowski’s farm. From there, it goes to Country Garden, their farm stand that’s just down the road.  The Farm stand just opened this weekend and for a short while, the asparagus will be the only field grown crop at the stand.  There are also hothouse tomatoes and lettuces but it will be a while before the stand brims with the fruits and vegetables that are summer staples here.  Instead, I will gladly eat asparagus and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to serve it.  That’s how I found this recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s  “Around my French Table” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2010).

Dorie Greenspan’s life is an object of great envy on my part. The James Beard award-winning author divides her time between an apartment in Paris and one in New York.  She is best known for her baking books, which won her the Beard award.  But once she had a Parisian kitchen to cook in, she soon expanded her repertoire beyond butter cookies and chocolate éclairs.   Julia Child paid Ms. Greenspan the compliment of saying “You write recipes the way I do.”.  That is to say, Ms. Greenspan, like Ms. Child, leaves nothing out.  Famously, Ms. Child’s recipe for French bread in Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume II ran to 22 pages!  Ms. Greenspan’s recipe for today’s Bacon and Eggs and Asparagus Salad ran only to three after a two-page introduction to Asparagus itself.  But it so complete, it’s impossible to screw it up.               

Not that this is in any way a salad that’s thrown together in five minutes.  Instead, Ms. Greenspan introduces us, or me at least, to a new way of cooking eggs.  Boiled till they are just set, then carefully peeled and finally rewarmed by rolling them around in bacon fat, they were something Ms. Greenspan observed at a café in Paris and then translated for the home cook.  You’ll notice that our pictures show two eggs per plate.  This is because I was terrified that I would not be able to de-shell the eggs without breaking them.  In fact, it wasn’t that hard at all and I ended up with two a plate.  I made this dish using slab bacon cut into two ¼ inch thick slices.  Ms. Greenspan called for 6 strips of bacon—no word on thickness.   I’d highly recommend this as a brunch or lunch dish but it would make a super dinner salad.  Here is the recipe:

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