I’ve tried to find out the history of Asparagus Mimosa but can’t seem to discover exactly when it was first mentioned, or when it became a classic; It’s just one of those recipes I know, but without knowing how I came to know about it.
What I do know is that it originated in France and I’m sure I also read somewhere that it was first mentioned as early as the twelfth century. I turned to my Larousse Gastronomique (my food bible) but even here there is no clue to its origins only a brief description of how it resembles mimosa blossom. One thing I know for sure (because it’s mentioned in Royal Menu’s by Rene Roussin the kings chef between 1936 and 1952) is that Mimosa salad was a dish made for King George VI.
Characterised by its grated hard-boiled egg dressing a mimosa salad does evoke images of the delicate blossom and is really a very pretty dish. It’s simple, visually impressive and makes a great starter or accompaniment to other dishes as part of a buffet. It’s also very quick to make so if you’re a posh mum like me, you could just serve it for tea!!…er, yes that was my attempt at a joke, but joking aside my kids absolutely loved it, so I would recommend it as a family favourite too.
NB: I blanched my asparagus in a pan of hot water with a third of a sachet of smoked water from Halen Mon added to give a very mildly smoky taste.
1 bunch of fresh asparagus ( I also used some white sprouting broccoli that I’d also bought that day)
2 large hard-boiled eggs (grated)
drizzle of olive oil
a knob of butter
slat and pepper
A small handful of chopped fresh herbs such as chives, wild garlic or chervil (I used wild garlic and chives)
a dessertspoonful of non pareil capers
a selection of edible flowers to finish
Blanch asparagus for a couple of minutes in a pan half filled with boiling water. The stalks should be tender when pierced with a sharp knife but still nice and green. Drain and return to the hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and a knob of butter.
Arrange the asparagus while still warm on a serving dish. Sprinkle over the egg, capers, herbs and finish with some edible flowers (I used wild garlic flowers).