You can leave out the chicken and serve this salad as a first course. You can also substitute other ingredients, such as cooked shellfish or other seafood, for the chicken. Don’t be scared off by the foie gras. It is completely optional, but it does take the salad to a new level.
– ½ pound haricots verts or regular green beans, ends trimmed.
– 1 pound white or green asparagus.
– ¼ cup sherry vinegar.
– ¾ cup heavy cream or crème fraîche.
– 1 small bunch chervil or fronds from a fennel bulb (optional).
– ¼ pound terrine of foie gras, well chilled (optional).
– 10 ounces cultivated mushrooms, preferably cremini, sliced.
– Meat from 1 roast chicken, pulled off in strips and skin removed.
Step 1:Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the beans, and boil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until you feel only the slightest crunch when you bite into one. Drain in a colander and immediately rinse under cold running water. Pat dry or spin dry in a lettuce spinner.
Step 2:Trim and peel the asparagus spears as shown. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the asparagus, and boil for 4 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the spears, or until just tender. Drain in a colander and immediately rinse under cold running water. Pat dry.
Step 3:While the vegetables are cooking, in a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and cream, bring to a boil, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until reduced by one-third. Season with salt and pepper and let cool to roomtemperature.
Step 4:Put the cream mixture in a bowl large enough to hold the salad. Reserve 4 to 6 nice sprigs of chervil and chop the rest. Stir the chopped chervil into the sauce.
Step 5:Make sure the foie gras is very cold and then cut it into ¼-inch cubes. Separate the cubes from one another and add them to the sauce.
Step 6:Just before serving, put the mushrooms, chicken, beans, and asparagus in the bowl with the sauce and foie gras. Season with salt and pepper, toss gently, and then divide among plates. Decorate each serving with a chervil sprig.