Makes 4 servings. Difficulty
16 asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed Salt 1 Tablespoon distilled vinegar 4 large eggs 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 8 cups mixed greens 1/4 cup basil leaves 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved into large, very thin slices Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Vinaigrette: 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar 1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Make the vinaigrette by whisking together rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Blanch the asparagus in salted, boiling water for about 3-4 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender. Immediately plunge the asparagus into ice water for 2 minutes. Remove from ice bath. Transfer the asparagus to a paper towel and wrap to dry.
Poach the eggs in a 10 inch skillet. Bring about 3 inches of water to a boil over high heat. Add the distilled vinegar. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately break the eggs into the pan, carefully opening the shells close to the waters surface so the eggs will slip into the water in one piece. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook the eggs for 3-4 minutes. The eggs are ready when the whites are opaque and the yolks are covered with a thin, translucent layer of white. Rinse the eggs gently with water to remove the vinegar.
Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus spears and cook just to reheat, about 2-3 minutes. Season the asparagus spears with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place the mixed greens and basil leaves in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to thoroughly coat. Divide the greens among 4 salad plates. Top each plate with 4 asparagus spears and a poached egg. Garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.