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Asparagus with Salsa Verde, Pickled Onion, and Quartered Egg

(recipe, Deborah Madison)

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The pickled onion takes only a minute or two to make, so start with those, and they will have colored up by the time you’re ready for them. Serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled. And keep in mind that the sauce is also very good over grilled, roasted, or griddled asparagus.


  1. 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  2. Apple cider or rice-wine vinegar, a few tablespoons
  3. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 1 lb. asparagus
  5. Chopped parsley, about 3 tablespoons
  6. Chopped tarragon, about 1 tablespoon
  7. 1 Tbsp. capers
  8. 1 wide band of orange zest, cut into fine slivers and blanched for 10 seconds
  9. 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  10. 1 scant tablespoon vinegar (can be the same you used for the onions)
  11. 1 hard-cooked egg, quartered


  1. Separate the sliced onion rings and toss them in a few tablespoons of vinegar with a pinch of salt. Set them aside in the refrigerator.
  2. Trim thin asparagus by snapping off the woody, tough ends. If the asparagus is thick, slice off the butt end where it changes color and appears to be tougher. Peel the thick asparagus but not the thin. Simmer in a skillet of salted water until it is bright green but still a little firm, about 4 minutes for thin asparagus, 6 minutes for fat. Set the cooked asparagus on a towel to dry while you make the sauce. It will finish cooking as it does so.
  3. Put the parsley, tarragon, and capers in a bowl. Finely dice half the slivered orange zest and add it to the herbs. Stir in the oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon the sauce over the asparagus, then use your hands to turn the spears, to coat them on all sides. Garnish with the remaining slivers of orange peel and scatter the pickled onion rings over all. Tuck the egg quarters among the spears and onions and serve.