Asparagus mimosa is a simple, bright and tasty dish that's packed with spring goodness. It's great as a side dish, or can even be a light lunch in itself. A great way to use asparagus while it's in season.
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To some people, this might seem like a bit of a retro dish, but that certainly shouldn't be a reason to dismiss it. True, you can have good or not so good versions of it, as is probably true of a lot of dishes. But if made well, it's really tasty.
By well, I really mean don't overcook the asparagus, or the egg, and keep things simple. Yes, a few additions can work well, but this is not a dish to load up. Simple really works best.
Why is it called asparagus mimosa?
The name of this dish comes from the egg on top which looks a little like mimosa blossom. You get this effect by grating hard boiled egg which makes it look kind of fluffy. It also gives it a lovely light texture as you eat it.
The dish is a traditional French dish, though the origins are unclear beyond that. Asparagus season is that bit more celebrated in France and Germany than some other places (Germany particularly celebrates white asparagus as I remember being all over the menu during some visits).
Recipe variations and tips
This dish is very simple with three key components - the asparagus, hard boiled eggs and a dressing. Beyond this, you can add some herbs, chopped capers and/or olives but I feel simple is best. You can also vary a little how you cook and present things.
Steaming and blanching are the most popular ways to cook the asparagus. I like to blanch it (so boiling briefly then placing in cold water to stop it cooking) as it keeps the vibrant green color better. And as I mention above, be sure not to over-cook it.
Some recipes chop the egg rather than making it into fine crumbles with the reasoning that it's less to clean up. While I can see this, to be honest it doesn't take a whole lot of time to clean a small sieve, and I think the fine texture is worth the tiny bit of effort. It becomes so light and just melts in your mouth. Plus, I don't think it's any slower to press the egg through a sieve than chop it.
Top tip: toss the asparagus in the dressing
I recommend tossing the asparagus in the dressing before adding the egg on top, as it's the asparagus that you want to be well coated, not the egg. Also the egg can become less light and fluffy if you pour the dressing over it.
Asparagus mimosa is such a lovely simple dish, that just screams spring. It's light, with simple but bright flavors and perfect as a side, as part of brunch, or as a light lunch by itself. So be sure to enjoy when asparagus is in season.
Try these other asparagus recipes:
- Asparagus frittata
- Spring salad with asparagus, strawberries and goat cheese toasts
- Baked eggs with mushroom and asparagus
- Plus get more spring recipes in the archives.
- 1 egg
- ½ lb asparagus 225g
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon shallot minced
- First, hard boil the egg. You can do this in your preferred method, or else use the following. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the egg. Cook for 9 minutes at a simmer, then transfer the egg to a bowl with iced water. Let it cool in the water, then peel.
- While the egg is cooking, trim the ends from the asparagus, either cutting above any purple/grey part or snapping where it naturally breaks.
- I tend to re-use the water from the egg for the asparagus, if the pot is big enough, or else use a separate pot. Add a pinch of salt to the water, add the asparagus, cover and bring back to a simmer. Cook for around 2 - 3 minutes until it is just tender then transfer to a bowl of iced water (this helps preserve the green color). You can leave in a few minutes if you prefer it cool, or else just place in water around 30 seconds and remove to a plate to be warm.
- As the asparagus is cooking, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients (oil, lemon, mustard and shallot) ad whisk together to emulsify.
- Place the asparagus on a plate (or plates) and drizzle over the vinaigrette. If you like, toss the asparagus in it slightly. Then place the egg in a small sieve and press through with the back of a spoon to form a crumb-like egg topping over the asparagus.
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