Asparagus is still pretty much a bargain at the markets, and I couldn't be happier! I love it just about anyway you make it. My favorite way of cooking it as a vegetable is sprinkled with sea salt and olive oil and roasted at 400o F for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness. And it's a perfect match for ham.
I was blessed recently to have friends bring me a smoked ham from Coursey's in Arkansas. It was one of the best hams I have ever tasted, just smoky enough, lean and tender.
I found a sandwich recipe on the website of the American Egg Board (www.aeb.org) and adapted it a bit to suit my tastes, using roasted asparagus and that wonderful ham.
It's easy and quick to make, but you could make it ahead of time, refrigerate it, and reheat it gently at serving time.
If brunch is on your mind, I think this would be marvelous over toasted English muffins as well. However you enjoy it, I know you'll love it!
HOT ASPARAGUS EGG SALAD
4 crusty sandwich rolls
2 tbsp butter
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 package Hollandaise sauce mix (I used Knorr)
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Juice and grated zest of one lemon
1/2 pound asparagus, roasted or steamed until just crisp, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup baked ham, chopped
4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Open the rolls and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until lightly browned and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
In the same pan, combine the Hollandaise sauce mix and the cornstarch. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest. Remove from the heat and stir in the asparagus, ham and reserved mushrooms. Gently fold in the eggs.
Place the roll bottoms on serving plates and divide the egg mixture among them. Place the tops on and serve immediately. Serves four.
NOTE: Ham information: Coursey's, Inc, St. Joe, AR Phone: (870)439-2503