From More from the Accidental Vegetarian, Simon Rimmer, Mitchell Beazley, 2012.
Sometimes you have a dish that, though full of flavour and attractive to look at, is awkward to eat. This salad was such a dish.
I began by making the shortbread. Into the blender I placed 175g plain flour, 100g butter cut into cubes, and 65g grated pecorino cheese. I gave them a churn and then added an egg yolk and salt and pepper. Another quick churn and they had formed a dough. This was rolled out and cut into triangular shapes. They were cooked in the oven (180ºC) for about 10 minutes when they had turned golden. They were taken out and let cool.
The asparagus was placed into boiling salted water until cooked and while it was cooking the dressing was made.
Into the blender went an egg yolk, 2 teaspoons caster sugar, a teaspoon Dijon mustard, a tablespoon white wine vinegar and the juice of half a lemon with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. They were given a blitz and then olive oil was added slowly while the blender was going. I added oil until the dressing was a consistency that suited me. I then added some chopped tarragon.
The salad was put together with one piece of shortbread on the plate, then some asparagus spears, a little rocket, dressing dribbled over, then a shortbread to top it all. Some shaved pecorino was dropped over.
I did enjoy this. The flavours worked well together. The dressing was creamy and sharp, the shortbread crunchy and salty, and they went so well with the asparagus. I just found it a little difficult to eat with the shortbread needing to be chased around the plate a little. But it was worth the chase.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔