Asparagus, Bacon, Egg, and Dill Sandwiches

Asparagus, Bacon, Egg, and Dill SandwichesMakes 8 servings

1 pound pencil-size asparagus, trimmed and peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 (16-ounce) French bread loaves
Garnish: fresh dill, lemon wedges

1. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over high heat. Add asparagus and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes or until asparagus are tender. Set aside to cool.

2. In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, dill, lemon juice, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

3. Cut each bread loaf into 4 (6-inch-long) pieces, and split horizontally; do not cut all the way through. Spread mayonnaise mixture onto one cut side of each bread piece. Layer on asparagus, egg slices, and bacon pieces. Garnish with dill and lemon, if desired.

NOTE: Peeling asparagus removes the fibrous outer layer, making the stalk tender and easy to bite through for this sandwich. Cut about 1 inch off the end of all stalks. Then use a vegetable peeler