I got inspiration for this dish from a recipe on the summer issue of John Lewis’ Cook magazine. The first two ingredients (asparagus and eggs) are the same, then I tweaked the whole thing with the ingredients I had.
It’s a fresh spring salad, perfect with some crusty bread or crostini and a chilled glass of white wine. In a smaller amount, it can also be served as a starter. I enter the amounts for a single serving as a main or two servings as a starter, just increase the amounts accordingly if there are more people at your table!
INGREDIENTS (serves 1)
- 10 asparagus spears
- 2 eggs
- 2 handfuls mixed leaf salad
- 1 can (2 units) sardines in oil
- 15g mixed nuts, finely ground
- 2 heaped tsp wholegrain or Dijon mustard
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper and ground chilli pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Boil the eggs gently for 6 minutes, then cool in iced water before peeling. Set aside. In the meantime, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper and chili in a small bowl.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, drop in the asparagus and boil for no more than 5 minutes (according to how crunchy you want them), drain and let them lose the excess water. Drain the oil of the sardines, place them on a chopping board and gently divide them in two fillets, possibly removing the backbone.
Place the salad on a serving dish, top it with the sardine fillets, the asparagus and the eggs cut in half, and distribute evenly the vinaigrette on top of everything. As a finishing touch and to give some extra crunchiness, quickly toast the ground nuts in a hot pan and scatter them all over the salad.