- Using a vegetable peeler, shave off the skin from the bottom eight centimeters or so of each asparagus stalk, so they cook evenly. Snap off the hard stubs at the bottom—they’ll break naturally at the right point as you bend the bottom of the asparagus. To prepare the scallions, trim the roots and the wilted ends of the green leaves. Peel off the loose layers at the white end, so the scallions are all tight, trim, and about 15 centimeters long.
- Bring one litre of water (or enough to cover the vegetables) to a boil in a wide, deep skillet, and add the asparagus and scallions. Adjust the heat to maintain a bubbling boil, and poach the vegetables, uncovered, for about six minutes or more, until they are tender but not falling apart, cooked through but not mushy. To check doneness, pick up an asparagus spear by its middle with tongs: it should be a little droopy, but not collapsing.
- As soon as they are done, lift out the vegetables with tongs and lay them in a colander (any fat asparagus spears may take a little longer, so leave them in a few minutes more). Hold the colander under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain briefly, then spread on kitchen towels and pat dry; sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon salt over them.
- Slice the asparagus and the scallions into 2.5 centimeter lengths, and pile them loosely in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over the top, and sprinkle on the remaining salt and several grinds of black pepper. Toss well, but don’t break up the vegetables. Quarter the eggs into wedges, and slice each wedge into two or three pieces; scatter these in the bowl, and fold in with the vegetables. Taste, and adjust the dressing. Chill the salad briefly, then arrange it on a serving platter or on salad plates.
From book: “Lidia’s Favorite Recipes”, c. 2012