When CHOW editors first tasted this dish at Claudine restaurant in San Francisco, we loved the combination of creamy custard served alongside a crisp salad dressed with a mustardy vinaigrette. It looks complicated, but the recipe is fairly simple: Blanched peas are blended with cream, eggs, milk, and a touch of Parmesan, then baked in a water bath until just set. Asparagus is shaved, tossed with dressing, and set atop a bed of dressed butter lettuce. Serve the custard warm or chilled alongside the salad for an elegant first course full of spring flavors.
Game plan: The pea custard can be made and chilled up to 1 day ahead.
For the salad: