- 1 large bunch fresh asparagus (about 12 ounces)
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
This dish by chef and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich is called Insalata di Scalogna e Asparagi in Italian and tastes like Spring! It's a perfect light dish for an appetizer, main course or side dish and showcases the bounty of the season.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave off the skin from the bottom 3 inches or so of each asparagus stalk, so they cook evenly. Snap off the hard stubs at the bottom—they'll break naturally at the right point as you bend the bottom of the asparagus.
To prepare the scallions: Trim the roots and the wilted ends of the green leaves. Peel off the loose layers at the white end, so the scallions are all trim.
Bring 1 quart water (or enough to cover the vegetables) to a boil in a wide, deep skillet, and add the asparagus and scallions. Adjust the heat to maintain a bubbling boil, and poach the vegetables, uncovered, for about 6 minutes or more, until they are tender but not falling apart, cooked through but not mushy. To check doneness, pick up an asparagus spear by its middle with tongs: it should be a little droopy, but not collapsing.
As soon as they are done, lift out the vegetables with tongs and lay them in a colander. Hold the colander under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain briefly, then spread on kitchen towels, pat dry, and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt over them.
Cut the asparagus and the scallions into 1-inch lengths, and pile them loosely in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over the top, and sprinkle on the remaining salt and several grinds of black pepper. Toss well. Quarter the eggs into wedges, and slice each wedge into two or three pieces; scatter these in the bowl, and fold in with the vegetables. Taste, and adjust the dressing. Serve at room temperature, or chill the salad briefly; arrange it on a serving platter or on salad plates.