Photograph: Tyllie Barbosa
Butter is a hallmark of classic Milanese cooking, but it takes a back seat in Giuseppe Scurato’s luxurious take on a rather straightforward old-school salad-asparagi alla milanese-now on the spring menu at Boka (1729 N. Halsted St.; 312-337-6070). In the traditional version, the yolk from a fried egg makes a rich sauce for the asparagus spears. Chef Scurato adds a balsamic vinaigrette spiked with white truffle oil and a handful of peppery arugula. He says it’s a delicious brunch salad, as he discovered on a recent Sunday morning at home with his wife. His secret extra ingredient? “Bits of crispy bacon.”
Boka’s Asparagus Milanese Salad
For the salad:
- 16 pieces asparagus (jumbo)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Grated or shaved parmigiano cheese
- 6 to 8 arugula leaves per plate
For the vinaigrette:
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white truffle oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Trim and cook asparagus in salted boiling water for about 3 to 5 minutes until crisp tender. Shock in cold water, drain well, and chill.
- For the vinaigrette, combine shallot, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar; whisk until sugar and salt are dissolved. Mix in the olive and white truffle oils. Dress asparagus and arrange in a single layer on a plate, four stalks per person. Sprinkle with grated or shaved parmigiano cheese and top with arugula leaves.
- Fry eggs in butter, sunny side up, until set but still runny. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place an egg on top of each plate of asparagus, drizzle with vinaigrette, and serve immediately.