We updated this retro recipe – from Julia Child in the 60s – with modern touches like a little hit of curry, cayenne and lemon zest. These deviled eggs have spring written all over them and with addition of pureed vegetables, they pack a lot more nutrients than more traditional deviled eggs. A variation on this is to replace the asparagus with fresh or frozen peas. For your flavorings, you’d want to go half mayonnaise and half creme fresh, trade in the curry for chopped fresh mint leaves and skip the lemon zest, but add a teaspoon or so of Marsala and another of Worcestershire for that devil kick. We demoed this at Brookside April 16, 2014. Yield: 24 stuffed egg halves
12 large eggs
12 asparagus spears, trimmed
2 T very finely minced shallot, scallion or chives
1/3 C mayonnaise, more as needed
1 t smooth Dijon
1 t curry powder
grated zest from one lemon
1-2 T whipping cream (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Hard-boil eggs using whichever method you prefer. I cover mine with cold water, bring it to a boil, then set a timer for 12 minutes. When it rings, drain the eggs, and plunge them in ice water until they’re fully cool. Eggs can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Prepare the asparagus: Remove tips and reserve. Cut stems into 1-inch pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, drop in cut-up asparagus stems, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until tender, four minutes. Remove cooked asparagus with a slotted spoon, reserving salted water, and plunge the pieces into cold water to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly and lay them out on a paper towel to dry further. When dry, transfers chopped asparagus to a food mill or food processor; process until pureed or very finely chopped. Pass puree through a sieve as necessary to drain of any excess water.
Bring salted water to a boil again and add asparagus tips; cook until crisp tender and bright green, about one minute. Remove and plunge into cold water. Lift out and drain well; finish drying the tips on paper towels.
Prepare eggs: Peel your eggs. For a cleaner cut, dip your knife in water before cutting each in half lengthwise. Shave a thin strip off the bottom of each so that it will not rock about in its dish. Remove the yolks and press them through a fine-mesh strainer to sieve them, or mash with a fork. Add asparagus puree, shallot or chives, mayonnaise, Dijon, spices, lemon zest and combine mixture until smooth. If the mixture is dry, add optional cream, or water, to achieve the right consistency. Season carefully with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
You can spoon the mixture into each egg half, or use a piping bag with a star tip for a fancier presentation. Decorate each stuffed egg with asparagus spear. Wrap tray in plastic and keep in fridge until ready to serve.