Served as a side dish to brunch or dinner, our Polonaise Asparagus Salad with Prosciutto is a beautiful addition to any indoor/outdoor occasion and is sure to brighten any table with flavours of spring and summer dancing in your mouth.
Something special happens around the spring and summer mark when it comes to food. While every season has an 'in-season' ingredient, the months between April to August bring incredible seasonal produce that only last a few weeks, and in some cases a single week. There's an urgency to these ingredients and a literal prime shelf life that goes as quickly as they come including ramps, garlic scapes, morels, fiddle heads, and asparagus.
Served by itself or elevated, asparagus is one of our favourite seasonal springtime finds and is a versatile dish ranging from breakfast through to dinner. Playing on the traditional prosciutto wrapped asparagus topped with a poached egg, we put a Chef Sous Chef spin on this dish with French inspiration to make our Polonaise Asparagus Salad with Prosciutto.
Polonaise, a French term referring to a topping of breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and eggs and melted butter, is typically served over a vegetable dish.
Polonaise, a French term referring to a topping of breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and eggs and melted butter, is typically served over a vegetable dish. Having learned this technique in one of his George Brown Culinary classes, Philip was first introduced to this method over roasted cauliflower. Our Polonaise Asparagus Salad layers sautéed asparagus, buttery breadcrumbs, boiled eggs, fresh parsley and bunched prosciutto with notes of lemon throughout for the ultimate seasonal salad perfect for the entire season.
Boil and Chop the Eggs
While most have a preferred method for boiling their eggs, we boil the water first and gently add in the eggs for a total of 9 minutes. Removing them from the heat and immediately putting them under cold water, crack your eggs and let cool. Roughly chop your eggs into small chunks and toss in half of the parsley.
Sauté the Asparagus
Start by trimming the asparagus by either breaking the stems off (the woody section will naturally break off) or cut about an inch off the bottom. In a heated pan, add your asparagus to butter and olive oil and sauté for 5 minutes, until bright and tender. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
Fry the Breadcrumbs
In the same pan as the asparagus, add remanning butter, bread and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and cook until brown and crispy. Stir in the remaining parsley and remove from heat.
When it comes to assembling this asparagus salad, layering is key. Start by gracefully arranging your asparagus stalks onto an oval platter and squeeze a bit of lemon on them. Toss a few handfuls of breadcrumbs over the centre of the asparagus, trying not to cover the top spears or bottom – remember to layer while still revealing each layer. Then, over the breadcrumbs, add your chopped eggs and stuff a few pieces of bunched prosciutto into the egg and under the asparagus stalks. Finish your asparagus salad with a sprinkle of black pepper, capers and another squeeze of lemon.
Served as a side dish to brunch or dinner, our Polonaise Asparagus Salad with Prosciutto is a beautiful addition to any indoor/outdoor occasion and is sure to brighten any table. The perfect balance of zesty lemon and rich butter, each bite of crisp asparagus, soft egg, buttery breadcrumb and salty prosciutto leaves flavours of spring and summer dancing in your mouth.
Polonaise Asparagus Salad with Prosciutto
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus bottoms trimmed (300g)
- 2 hard boiled eggs shelled and finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 3 slices bread finely chopped (50g)
- ⅓ cup butter divided (75 g)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ lemon zest and juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 50 g prosciutto
- 1 tbsp capers 10g
- No. 1 | Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Carefully place the eggs in the water and allow to boil for 9 minutes. Remove and place in cold water. Once cool enough to handle, peel the shells and chop the eggs. Place in a bowl, add half the parsley, lightly toss and set aside.
- No. 2 | While the eggs are cooking, place a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. Once the butter melts, add the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and saute until bright and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a serving platter.
- No.3 | In the same pan, add remaining butter, breadcrumbs, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and cook until brown and crispy. Stir in the remaining parsley then remove from heat.
- No. 4 | To assemble, lay the asparagus on a platter. Squeeze half a lemon on top then sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Top with chopped eggs, then arrange prosciutto on top. Season with a few twists of fresh ground black pepper, a squeeze of lemon, and sprinkle with capers.