Because I Love All Six of You Who Read

As a man who prefers food that has grazed rather than a plate of things on which they might have grazed, I have rarely invested much energy in making or consuming salads.  That changed this weekend.  I was making dinner for a dear friend and a couple of her friends and had been obsessing over my menu for days.  I am not sure that the picture for this dish was even completed until I arrived at Whole Foods to get provisions.  And then it hit me and I made what  I am humbling calling “The Bestest Salad Ever Made with Awesomesauce Dressing.”

Since I haven’t been writing enough about food lately, I am happy to share the recipe with you.

The Bestest Salad Ever Made with Awesomesauce Dressing aka Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad with Black Forest Bacon and Poached Quail Egg

One Bunch of Asparagus

One bunch of Arugula

Three Pieces of Thick-cut Black Forest Bacon

Four Quail Eggs

Two Cipollini Onions

Olive Oil

Butter

Kosher Salt

Freshly Cracked Pepper

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees

Bend one spear of asparagus to determine its breaking point and cut the rest of the bunch at that line.  Using a thin peeler, peel or shave the skin from the bottom inch or so of each spear.  Place all of the spears on a non-stick backing sheet and brush with a thin layer of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (by the by, I would rather have Rachel Ray give me a hand job while wearing a sandpaper glove than use the term Eee-Voo.)  On the same sheet, you should have room to put the three strips of bacon which is a good thing because a little of the grease from the bacon with help to season the asparagus.  Place the sheet in a 375 degree oven and roast for 8-10 minutes depending on thickness of the spears.

While the bacon and asparagus are cooking, tear the Arugula and place it into a large salad bowl; slice the Cipollini onions into thin ribbons and sauté in butter but do not caramelize them.  Your goal is for the ribbons to be tender to the tooth but still have some bite.  Start the water to poach the Quail eggs.

Once the spears are removed they need to be “Shocked” to stop the cooking process.  Place them in a bath of ice water for ten seconds, remove them and pat dry.  Cut the asparagus into 2-3 inch pieces and add to the bowl.

The bacon will need another 5-7 minutes to cook to the point of crispy.  Once the bacon is ready, remove it from the pan and cut into ¼ to ½ inch strips and add to the bowl.  Add a reasonable drizzle of salt (use less than you think you need because of the salt of the bacon and the basic principle of not being able to remove salt or any seasoning) and cracked pepper.  Add about a tablespoon of Olive Oil and toss until well coated.

Divide the salad onto four salad plates forming mounds that have slight indentations at the top to hold the poached eggs.

If you’ve never poached an egg before, read Lemmonex’s excellent tutorial on the subject first. Quail eggs, because of their diminutive size, will cook in about 90 seconds.  Place an egg atop each salad plate and serve immediately.

Disclaimers, Caveats, and Mea Cupla’s

While I consider this dish to be an RR original, I am sure that somewhere some chef has written a similar recipe.

While I consider this dish to be an RR original, it was inspired in small part by a terrific Asparagus dish I had recently at Restaurant Eve.

I do not think that this recipe is terribly difficult, but if you are unnerved by the lack of precise measurements, then it may not be the dish for you to try.

The recipe calls for four quail eggs, but you should get six as you are likely to ruin at least one.

I made dinner on Friday and Saturday nights this weekend.  This was the only new dish that I did on either night.  Amongst the nine courses over two nights, this was the star by country mile.  It was even better than my lobster bisque.

I know that I stole Awesomesauce from LiLu, but since it’s in Urban Dictionary, I am pretty certain that she lifted it from somewhere else and is just the one peron I know who uses it.

That last admission may make me considerably less hip but I am fine with that.

I know that I am pretty lame for not having taken pictures of this salad or any of the dishes from the weekend – sorry I suck.

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11 Responses to Because I Love All Six of You Who Read

  1. BigSis says:

    I’m definitely going to try this!

    The one thing I forgot to mention is that doing final touches on the plate with a large grain sea salt or flake salt adds another dimension that I loved too.

  2. Kristin says:

    Lovely. I do need to do something with that asparagus I keep buying.

    Words do not do this dish justice. I hope it serves you well.

  3. “The recipe calls for four quail eggs, but you should get six as you are likely to ruin at least one.”
    Fucking quail eggs!
    (it sounds delicious!)

    Damn right – the tiny little bastards.

  4. Christina says:

    This looks amazing, I will hve to try this. Where does one get quail eggs?

    Most Whole Foods will have them, some farmer’s markets too. I should note that you can use regular eggs but you will need to put two servings on one plate and use just one egg.

  5. redhead says:

    If you make this for me, I will gladly take pictures of the dish for your blog 😉

    It’s not that I lack a camera, I just don’t think about pictures as I am too distracted by the food.

  6. Sara says:

    That Rachel Ray comment made me laugh, and then gag a little.

    I’ll admit it – that was my favorite line in the post.

  7. brookem says:

    look, i make a seventh reader! (and im sure there’s way more than that.)

    this salad sounds really good. mouthwatering actually.

    What I love the most about this recipe is that there really is no dressing save for a quick hit of olive oil and a slight blending of the bacon renderings.

  8. LiLu says:

    You had me at thick bacon.

    That’s what she said.

    I think I got awesome sauce from Alexa, but it could have been Joel McHale. I get around like that.

    When you finish with a line like “I get around like that” the number of punchlines overwhelms my brain.

  9. Dude, do you have a single recipe that doesn’t call for bacon? Not that I’m complaining….

    Really??? My guacamole doesn’t have bacon… not that I haven’t considered it.

  10. brookem says:

    PLEASE give me a recipe for yummy guac?

    You’ve got mail.

  11. […] The date may have sucked but I did have the asparagus dish which inspired (minor inspiration, but inspiration nonetheless) the most awesomest salad ever… […]

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