A flavorful side dish for a special spring occasion: charred asparagus with horseradish vinaigrette. Bright green asparagus blanched and then charred in a hot skillet, topped with a peppery horseradish vinaigrette, crispy bacon breadcrumbs, soft-boiled eggs, and fresh dill. It’s the most seasonal recipe I could think of and truly such a delicious one with lots of contrasting flavors and textures.
charred asparagus with horseradish vinaigrette – the details
Asparagus is a seasonal must in the springtime. There are those vegetables that work well year round, but asparagus really shines in the spring when it’s at its peak.
I’ve created many asparagus recipes over the years (see this asparagus tart and asparagus pasta), but this is definitely a new favorite. It’s fresh, interesting, and something to change things up from your average asparagus side dish.
The asparagus is prepared simply by first blanching it in a pot of boiling water and then very quickly charring it in a hot skillet. I would suggest serving the asparagus warm or at room temperature.
For the vinaigrette, it’s a super straightforward recipe that gets a big peppery kick from the prepared horseradish. If you’re like us and typically buy prepared horseradish for Easter, I’d say this is the perfect vinaigrette to make in big batches to use up the leftovers.
Next up…those bacon breadcrumbs. I created them for this brussels sprout mac & cheese recipe and let’s just say they make ANYTHING taste good.
And lastly, add on some soft-boiled eggs (or if hard-boiled are more your thing, go with that!) to complete the side dish and make it extra satisfying. They add a festive spring touch and go so well with all of the other flavors.
There’s definitely a few components to this dish, but the asparagus blanching, vinaigrette, bacon breadcrumbs, and soft-boiled eggs can ALL be done ahead of time. So you can easily assemble this at the last minute when you’re ready to eat!
If you’re looking for more spring side dishes, here are a few favorites:Print
Charred Asparagus with Horseradish Vinaigrette
charred asparagus topped with horseradish vinaigrette, crispy bacon breadcrumbs, soft-boiled eggs, and fresh dill
- 4 oz raw bacon
- kosher salt
- 1 lb thin asparagus, ends trimmed
- 4–8 eggs (1 or 2 per person)
- 2 tbsp prepared horseradish
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard (or dijon)
- 2 tsp honey
- ½ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 oz fresh whole grain bread
- 2 tbsp fresh dill leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lay the bacon onto a sheet pan in one even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and let drain.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a heaping tablespoon of salt. Submerge the asparagus in the water. Blanch for 1-2 minutes, or until bright green and tender. Transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water. Cool for 1 minute. Drain the asparagus and pat dry.
- To the boiling water, gently submerge the eggs. Boil for 6 minutes (for jammy soft-boiled eggs). Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water. Cool for 5 minutes. Crack the eggs and peel off the skins.
- Combine the horseradish, mustard, and honey in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until incorporated. Add the chives. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Add the bacon and fresh bread to a food processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Heat a 12” cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, pour in the breadcrumbs. Cook for a few minutes until golden and crisp, stirring often. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a plate and wipe out the skillet.
- Place the skillet back onto the stove over medium-high heat. Again, drizzle in some olive oil. Place the blanched asparagus into the hot skillet. Quickly cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly charred.
- Plate the asparagus with the horseradish vinaigrette spooned over top. Slice the eggs and add them to the plate. Finish with the bacon breadcrumbs and fresh dill.
*If your asparagus is thicker, you may want to peel it to remove some of the tough, stringy skin. You’ll also need to blanch it longer…probably about 3-4 minutes or until just tender.
*You can blanch the asparagus, make the vinaigrette, make the breadcrumbs, and cook the eggs ahead of time to save time when serving.
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