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While you can now find asparagus in stores year-round (gracias, Peru), locally grown stalks have unsurpassed flavor and texture. The upshot is that you should eat as much of this quintessential spring vegetable as you can while the locally grown variety is available. Do so and you’ll be awarded with an array of must-have nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and even energy-boosting iron. But who says you have to cook asparagus? Shaved ever so thinly with a vegetable peeler, this harbinger of warmer weather is a tender addition to salads alongside other nutritious seasonal greens.
Ready in: 25 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil or canola oil
- 8 ounces Canadian-style bacon
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- 4 cups arugula, tough ends trimmed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons unsalted sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and slightly crispy, about three minutes per side. Remove from pan and let cool before chopping.
- Set asparagus on a cutting board. Hold the tip of the asparagus and run a straight-blade vegetable peeler from the tip to the bottom to slice it into ribbons.
- Scatter arugula on serving plates and top with asparagus ribbons, chopped bacon, cherry tomatoes and sunflower seeds. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, shallot and black pepper. Drizzle over salad.
- To poach eggs, nearly fill a large skillet with water and add vinegar. Break eggs into four separate teacups or small bowls. Bring water to a boil over high heat. When the water has come to a boil, slide the pan off the heat and gently tip eggs into the pan. Cover pan tightly and let sit four minutes, or until whites are set. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove poached eggs from water and place on top of salad. To poach eggs individually in the microwave, place ½ cup water and ¼ teaspoon white vinegar in a small microwave-safe small bowl. Carefully crack egg into water, cover bowl and microwave on high for one minute, or until whites are set and opaque but yolks are still runny. If needed, continue microwaving in 10-second spurts until done.
- Garnish salad with Parmesan cheese and chives.
Nutrition facts (per serving): calories 301, total fat 20 g, saturated fat 4 g, trans fat 0 g, sodium 305 mg, carbs 14 g, fiber 3 g, sugar 1 g, protein 25 g
Tip: For ease of shaving, use fatter asparagus spears as opposed to the pencil-thin ones.