Our cookbook of the week is Clodagh’s Suppers by Irish chef Clodagh McKenna. Over the next three days, we’ll feature more recipes from the book and an interview with its author.
“It’s like a picture on a plate. It’s so pretty,” says Clodagh McKenna of her roasted asparagus mimosa. As legend has it, the dish got its name because of the sunny colour of the hard-boiled eggs, which resembles the mimosa flower. (In French, devilled eggs are called œufs mimosa, apparently for the same reason.)
“The combination of the egg yolk, which is a lovely creamy texture, with the asparagus works really well. The asparagus should be kind of crunchy and then the soft and creaminess of the egg is beautiful with it,” she adds. “And both of the flavours of the egg and asparagus are quite delicate so neither of them overpower each other.”
Adding to this starter’s appeal is its uncomplicated nature: All of the elements can be made-ahead. Hard-boil the eggs, roast the asparagus and make the dressing ahead of time, then assemble and serve at room temperature. McKenna is also a fan of the mimosa treatment with purple sprouting broccoli, which she likes to sprinkle with seeds or chopped toasted hazelnuts.
20 asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs
For the dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp (15 mL) torn basil leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (75 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Toss the asparagus spears in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or roast on a hot ridged grill pan over high heat for 5 minutes, turning often so that they are evenly cooked.
For the dressing, whisk the lemon juice, shallot, basil, and mustard together in a small bowl and season with salt and the pepper. Then add the extra-virgin olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly.
Shell and halve the eggs, then push through a medium-mesh sieve into another small bowl or finely chop.
Toss the baked or roasted asparagus with 1 tablespoon of the dressing in a large bowl, then divide the dressed asparagus between four plates. Spoon the remaining dressing over the asparagus and sprinkle the sieved or chopped egg on top.
Excerpted from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to Celebrate the Seasons by Clodagh McKenna (Kyle Books, 2019)