Chilled Jumbo Green Asparagus with Deviled Quail Eggs, Jumbo Lump Crab Meat and Sorrel
Chef Zach Bell of Café Boulud – Palm Beach, FL
Adapted by

Yield: 8 Servings


    Deviled Quail Eggs:
  • 12 quail eggs
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 4 bunches jumbo green asparagus
  • 4 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 bunch chives, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper

    Asparagus-Sorrel Puree:
  • 1 cup reserved asparagus trimmings (from Asparagus recipe above)
  • 1 bunch sorrel
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper

  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked over
  • 1 bunch sorrel, leaves only

For the Quail Eggs:
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Put the quail eggs into a fine-mesh strainer and gently lower the strainer into the water. Boil the quail eggs for 3 minutes. Cool the eggs under cold running water.

Peel the eggs and halve them lengthwise. Carefully remove the yolks and mash them in a bowl with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and stir until combined well. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Pipe the yolks into the egg white halves and lightly dust with the smoked paprika. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Asparagus:
Fill a large bowl halfway with ice cubes and cold water. Put a pot of salted water up to boil. Using a sharp knife cut off the bottom inch of each stalk and discard the trimmings. Using a vegetable peeler, lightly peel the bottom two-thirds of each asparagus stalk. Using kitchen string, tie each bunch back together. When the water is boiling, plunge the asparagus into the pot and cook until tender but still very green, 5 to 6 minutes. Using tongs immediately transfer the asparagus to the ice water bath and let cool. When cool, untie, and pat dry between kitchen towels. Cut each spear evenly into 4- to 5-inch lengths, reserving any trimmings for the asparagus vinaigrette.

Whisk together the shallots, chives, olive oil and lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the asparagus, toss to combine, and let marinate while you prepare the Asparagus-Sorrel Purée.

For the Asparagus-Sorrel Purée:
Put the asparagus, sorrel, and olive oil in a blender and whir until smooth, adding water if the mixture is too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate.

To Assemble and Serve:
Spoon two tablespoons of asparagus purée in the center of each plate, using the back of the spoon to gently spread the purée. Top with five or six marinated asparagus spears. Put three deviled quail eggs around the sides and strew a little jumbo lump crab meat and a few sorrel leaves over the top.


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   Published: May 2006