Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Asparagus, Pea & Chorizo Salad

When I first made this it had been my plan to crumble over some feta and a sprinkle of chilli, however that day I received some beautiful, fresh and local eggs and so I just couldn't resist cooking a couple of eggs and topping the salad with them. It is a delicious version of this salad as the yolk spills onto the asparagus and pea shoots mixing with the dressing to create a rich and utterly delicious salad.

If you would rather not serve this with eggs then crumbled feta is delicious or you could try some goats cheese or even some creamy buffalo mozzarella.

This is a delicious salad that screams of spring. Ideal for lunch or a light dinner, served with some crusty bread.

Serves 2

½ bundle of Asparagus (roughly 250g)
85g sugar snap peas
1 tbsp olive oil
125g chorizo
Juice of ½ lemon
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
50g Pea shoots
4 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, plus a few smaller leaves to garnish
2 basted {or poached} eggs*
A handful of freshly podded peas, if you can get them! (optional)

100g feta cheese {or other cheese of your choice – see above)
1 long red chilli, finely diced (optional)

Bring a pan of slightly salted water to a boil then blanch the asparagus for 1-1 ½ minutes depending on their thickness. Remove from the pan and place in an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Return the water to a full boil then add the sugar snap peas and cook for 1 minute. As with the asparagus remove from the water and plunge into ice cold water. Drain both the asparagus and peas and set aside, allowing to dry.

Once cooled cut the delicate tips off the asparagus and set aside (if you want, at this point you could add them to the large mixing bowl you need for assembling the salad). Using a vegetable peeler 'peel' the asparagus so that you get long thin ribbons of asparagus. When you can't peel anymore cut the remaining 'core' into pieces the same size as the tips. Set aside along with the asparagus tips.

Cut the sugar snap peas in half diagonally and set aside with the asparagus.

Cut the chorizo into roughly 2 inch pieces (at a diagonal) then cut each into 4. In a frying pan heat the olive oil then fry the chorizo pieces until golden and just starting to turn crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside, allowing them to cool slightly.

If you want to baste your eggs reheat the chorizo infused oil in the frying pan and once hot crack in your eggs. Once the whites have started to set add a little water to the pan (a couple of tablespoons should be enough) then cover with a tight-fitting lid. For runny yolks (which I highly recommend for this recipe) cook until the yolks have just started to get a very thin covering of white so that the top is sealed but inside is a delicious, oozy golden yolk. Remove the lid immediately to stop them for cooking any further and take off the heat.

While the eggs are cooking assemble the salad. In a large bowl add the asparagus ribbons and tips, sugar snap peas, pea shoots, mint and chorizo. Gently toss together using your fingers then dress with 2/3 of the salad dressing. Divide the salad onto 2 plates, scatter over the fresh peas if using then crown with the eggs. Finish by sprinkling over some Maldon sea salt (or other finishing salt that you have) then break open the yolks and let them dribble all over the salad! Light, incredibly refreshing and very fulfilling!

*Before I moved to Canada I had never heard of 'basted' eggs – it was another thing that my husband introduced me to. Now, I wish I had known about them my whole life! They are so easy to make and you never (well very rarely) have to worry about over-cooking the yolk if you, like me, like a very soft, runny yolk. Basically for those of you that are questioning what a basted egg is, it's a cross between a fried egg and a steamed one! It may sound a little strange but you start cooking the eggs as you would when frying them then you add some water to the pan then clamp down a tight-fitting lid, allowing the yolks to gently steam. This results in a soft egg, much like a poached egg without any stress or worry. If you have never had your eggs like this, please do me a huge favour and try it – you'll love it!!


  1. The vibrant green is so visually appealing. Sugar snap peas are among my most favourite things on this earth to consume!

  2. Thanks Juanita! I know its so colourful and bright - super tasty too!

  3. this is SO good and sunny side of the egg makes me drool :)

  4. Such gorgeous colours. I'm craving salads at the moment, I suppose you have to balance out dessert somehow!

  5. That is on beautiful salad! Don't often think of adding chorizo to a salad. Great idea.

  6. You've managed to capture the vibrancy of those colours in this post. Just beautiful!

  7. Thank you all so much for your lovely comments! It's definitely salad time for me with warmer days finally here, so for me this is perfect as its seasonal, fresh and completely delicious and filling!

  8. Another I'll need to try, only without the chorizo ;-) no hope of getting pea shoots here either... but Basted Eggs sounds right up my street!

  9. Hope you enjoy it Sarah! You could easily use rocket or even spinach instead of the pea shoots - just use a handful or 2 per person! Let me know what you think of it : )


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