Asparagus, quinoa and ‘mimosa egg’ salad is light, healthy and ideal for any meal

“Eggs mimosa” is a French culinary term for grated or grated hard-cooked eggs.

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In this salad, asparagus, eggs and quinoa are layered over a bed of baby greens, drizzled with a briny citrus and caper vinaigrette. 

In this salad, asparagus, eggs and quinoa are layered over a bed of baby greens, drizzled with a briny citrus and caper vinaigrette.

Lynda Balslev/TasteFood

Are you seeking inspiration for a festive springtime platter to serve for brunch? Look no further than this very green salad, layered with fresh, clean and simple ingredients that sing spring. Asparagus, eggs and quinoa are layered over a bed of baby greens, drizzled with a briny citrus and caper vinaigrette. Elegant, light and healthy, this is an all-day salad; it’s not only good for brunch, but for lunch and dinner as well.

In this recipe, hard-cooked eggs are quartered as well as grated. Eggs mimosa is a French culinary term for grated or sieved hard-cooked eggs. It’s aptly named for the brilliant yellow mimosa flowers that bloom in spring and share the same sunny color as the crumbled egg yolks. Typically, the crumbled eggs are showered over toasts and salads or used as an ingredient in deviled eggs.

It’s also notable that the word “mimosa” applies to the popular orange juice and champagne morning cocktail (no relation to eggs). So, I’ll just let that fun fact rest here for your brunch menu inspiration.

Asparagus, Egg and Quinoa Salad With Caper Vinaigrette

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS:

Salad:

  • 1 1/4 cups red quinoa
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 pound thin asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 3 to 4 ounces baby arugula or mixed spring greens
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs

Vinaigrette:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water. Place in a large saucepan and cover with 1 1/2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the quinoa grains release their white tail (germ), 12 to 15 minutes.

2. Drain the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve, then transfer to a bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the lemon zest, cumin and black pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if desired. Cool to room temperature, then stir in the mint, dill and chives.

3. Heat the oven broiler. Arrange the asparagus in one layer on a rimmed baking tray. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, turning the asparagus to coat. Broil on the top shelf until the asparagus are bright green in color and crisp tender, 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice. Remove and cool.

4. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients, except the oil, in a small bowl. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking to emulsify.

5. Spread the baby greens on a serving platter or in a wide, shallow serving bowl. Sprinkle about two-thirds of the quinoa over the greens. Arrange the asparagus over the salad. Sprinkle the remaining quinoa over and around the asparagus.

6. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the salad to your taste.

7. Quarter two eggs and arrange around the salad. If desired, sieve the remaining egg through a sieve with medium-sized holes over the asparagus (or simply quarter it). Garnish with additional lemon zest, mint and dill and serve with any remaining dressing.

Lynda Balslev is an award-winning food and wine writer, cookbook author and recipe developer. She authors the blog TasteFood, a compilation of more than 600 original recipes, photos and stories. More recipes can be found at chicago.suntimes.com/taste.

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