Easier than poached and far prettier than hard boiled, these non-fussy, six-minute eggs are my favorite. The white is firm and set while the yolk is slightly runny and adds a bit of creaminess to each panzanella bite. The eggs can be cooked and peeled three days in advance, as long as they’re stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
8 ounces asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 large eggs
2 1/2 ounces pea shoots
1 small bunch radishes, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 batch Simple Croutons
1 batch Tarragon-Mustard Vinaigrette
Heat a large pot of heavily salted water (it should taste like the ocean) over high heat until boiling. Drop in the asparagus and blanch for 2 minutes, or until crisp tender. Using a slotted spoon or spider remove asparagus and place in an ice bath. Once asparagus is cold, drain well. Pat dry with paper towels. You don’t want excess water in the salad.
Bring the water back to a boil. Once boiling, carefully lower the eggs into the water. Cook for six minutes. Remove the eggs and run them under cold water until they are cool enough to touch. Peel the eggs (they will be softer than a hard-cooked egg, but not runny on the inside) and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the asparagus, pea shoots, radishes and Simple Croutons. Add half of the Tarragon-Mustard Vinaigrette and toss using a wooden spoon. Taste the salad. You want enough vinaigrette to nicely coat all of the vegetables and croutons but not so much that it’s soggy or sitting in a pool of liquid. Add more vinaigrette and/or seasoning as you see fit. Transfer the salad to a serving platter or large, shallow bowl. Slice the eggs in half, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and garnish on top of the salad.
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