Lettuce, Egg and Asparagus Salad with Toasted Pecans and Blue Cheese

This is one of my favorite salad combinations. Eliminate the asparagus when not in season. For a variation add crispy bacon or pancetta in place of the avocado. Add roasted and shredded chicken to make it an entrée salad.

I like the Caveman Blue Cheese from the Rogue Creamery in Southern Oregon.

Serves 4

2-3 heads of butter lettuce, rinsed, dried and separated
½ cup pecan or walnuts lightly toasted
1 bunch of asparagus sliced thin on an angle and blanched in lightly salted water until tender but firm
1 ripe avocado peeled and sliced thin
4 eggs – cover with cool water, bring to a boil over medium heat for 6 minutes. Immerse in a cold water bath until cool. Peel and cut into quarters.
1 cup blue cheese
¼ - 1/3 cup maple-sherry vinaigrette (recipe below)
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Maple-Sherry Vinaigrette

¼ cup aged sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
2 shallots peeled and minced
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup walnut oil or other vegetable oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Using a whisk, combine the vinegar, shallots, maple syrup and Dijon mustard and mix well. Mix in the salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the oils until well emulsified. Used the leftover vinaigrette on other salads-it’s delicious.