We’ll take any excuse to celebrate a holiday—especially one that makes us more of the healthy angels we fancy ourselves to be. OK, so last week was National Donut Day and we boogied down for that one, too.
It’s time for some delicious atonement in the form of a beautiful plate of green almond salsa rustica with asparagus courtesy of The Year in Food and inspired by the Bay Area temples of freshness, Heirloom Cafe and Chez Panisse.
2 shallots, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green almonds (rinse thoroughly!)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for cooking asparagus
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch asparagus
4 quail eggs or two hen eggs, optional
In a mixing bowl, toss the shallots and green almonds with the red wine vinegar. Set aside to macerate for at least 15 minutes.
If using quail eggs, bring a small pot of water to a simmer. Using a slotted spoon, carefully drop the quail eggs into the water, and set a timer for 3 minutes. Drain, and place in an ice bath to cool. Set aside.
Next, add the capers, parsley and thyme to the bowl with the shallots and green almonds. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over a medium flame. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the asparagus, and saute until tender, about two to three minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the spears.
Divide the asparagus among four plates. Top generously with salsa rustica.