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May Flowers

Spring garden salad
Roasted fingerling potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes, with fiddlehead ferns, wild asparagus, ramps, nasturtium flowers and a poached egg

You can leave out the root vegetables if you prefer. I had a bunch of vegetables in the crisper from a few weeks ago that needed to be used. What better than a salad for brunch?

fingerling potatoes (1)
Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and sliced on a bias
olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
freshly milled black pepper, to taste
unsalted butter
8 stalks wild asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2″ lengths
1 bunch ramps, trimmed and sliced (separate stalks and leaves)
fiddlehead ferns, cleaned
1 egg, poached
nasturtium flowers
fresh thyme, chopped
onion chives, minced

Combine fingerlings and Jerusalem artichokes in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and drizzle 2 T. olive oil. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 F or until vegetables are golden brown. Stir in a handful of thyme and chives. Set aside.

Boil fiddlehead ferns in 2 cups salted water for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Immediately shock the ferns in ice water to halt the cooking process. Set aside.

Melt 1 T. unsalted butter in a large skillet. Add ramp stalks and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes over low heat or until stalks take on a bit of color. Add asparagus, ramp leaves and fiddlehead ferns. Sauté for 5 to 8 more minutes, stirring frequently. You can add an additional 1 T. unsalted butter if you wish, for additional richness. Check seasoning.

To assemble: Spoon potatoes onto a salad plate or wide-rimmed soup bowl. Place 2 generous tablespoons of the vegetables amidst the potatoes. Nestle a poached egg atop everything. Sprinkle with chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Garnish with a nasturtium flower, and serve immediately.

(1)Normally I leave the fingerlings unpeeled but if you have time, peeling them makes for a more aesthetic presentation.

(2)These are sweeter and milder than regular asparagus. In addition, the stalks are thinner and thus require shorter cooking times. Substitute regular asparagus if unavailable.

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