So last night was in fact a food fest and we ate and drank according to tradition. There were the required 4 cups of wine which in reality can be 4 sips and the Schmurra matzo, the bitter herbs, the Charoset, and the egg in salt water. Briefly just in case I have some readers who up to this point have no clue as to what I’m talking about let me clarify. There is a traditional Seder plate and on it there’s Charoset which is a mixture of apples, cinnamon, sugar and walnuts all processed to symbolize the mortar and brick the Jews made as slaves for the Pharaoh. Maror is the bitter herbs (horseradish) which symbolizes the bitter life of the Israelites during the time of their enslavement, Zeroa, a shank bone as a reminder of the Paschal lamb offered as a Passover sacrifice. Bytzah, a hard-boiled egg symbolic of the loss to the two temples (and also ecumenically symbol of Spring and new life) which was served in Chazeret , salt water which represents the tears of the people and also the bitterness. So much for that lesson on some of the Seder meal.
I brought my asparagus dish and it was a big hit. I’ve made this dish for many years for Easter dinner as a perfect Spring side dish with some symbolism of its own. First of all, asparagus are associated with Spring and that’s when they are most plentiful and fresh in the markets. The egg sauce symbolizes what the egg has always represented – new life, rebirth and isn’t that what Spring is all about? There’s also mustard (the seed of which is a Christian symbol of belief and faith) and vinegar which can be interpreted to mean the bitterness and sorrow of the Jews before being freed.
** This photo depicts an egg sauce with mayonnaise in it which is why it appears white. Your sauce will be yellow and only chopped egg whites will garnish the sauce. More like a Hollandaise with chopped egg whites on top.
1 # fresh asparagus
1 hard boiled egg
1 raw egg yolk
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 TBS white vinegar
1 tsp salt
Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water to cover till crisp tender and bright green – 5-7 minutes. I used an asparagus steamer. Immediately immerse in a large bowl of ice water with ice cubes to stop the cooking. Drain on paper towels and refrigerate covered.
Mash the hard cooked egg yolk in small bowl with the raw yolk and mustard till smooth. Gradually add the olive oil whisking till smooth. Combine the vinegar, pepper and salt and add to oil mixture. Whisk thoroughly.
To serve: Lay asparagus on a platter, spoon the egg sauce over and garnish with chopped egg white. It makes a lovely presentation and is served at room temperature so if you are bringing a side dish, this is perfect to travel.