Recipe File - June 2006

Boka’s Asparagus Milanese Salad

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
(Serves 4)

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Fry eggs in butter, sunny side up, until set but still runny. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place an egg on top of each plate of asparagus, drizzle with vinaigrette, and serve immediately.

 

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