asparagus salad

White Asparagus with Tomato Vinaigrette

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Among the delicious foods I feasted on on our recent trip to Eastern Europe were these: white asparagus, which is in season NOW. In the U.S. too. 

I found these beautiful spears at Fairway and prepared them exactly as I had them for dinner one night in Vienna.

Yes, these were dinner.

Ok, ok, I had a few rolls with a lot of butter too.

And strudel with schlag for dessert.

If you've never tasted white asparagus, you are in for a treat. They are milder and sweeter than the green ones and take a few minutes longer to cook because they are usually thicker. But, if you can't find these, use regular green asparagus (adjust cooking time depending on thickness of the spears).

 

White Asparagus with Tomato Vinaigrette

  • 1 pound white asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 hard cooked egg yolk, sieved or mashed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Remove the fibrous bottoms of each asparagus spear. Poach the asparagus in lightly salted water for 8-10 minutes, depending on thickness, or until tender. Drain under cold water and set aside in a serving dish. Whisk the olive oil and wine vinegar together until well blended. Add the tomato and egg yolk, stir and pour over the asparagus. Toss to coat every spear. Sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. 

Makes 4 servings

Grilled Asparagus Salad

When the weather is hot and sticky I find myself yearning for fruits and vegetables, not meat. I want salads, cold rice or noodles. Easy food, easy to prepare, easy to digest.

I recently had some grilled asparagus left over and used them for salad the next day. This dish was the perfect accompaniment to a rice salad that had other leftover vegetables in it!

 

Grilled Asparagus Salad

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups mixed cut up salad greens
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue or feta cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat an outdoor grill (or turn oven to 450 degrees). Trim the asparagus and place them in a shallow dish. Pour about 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over the asparagus and roll the spears to coat them evenly. Grill the spears, turning them once or twice, for 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness. Cut the spears into bite size pieces and place in a salad bowl. Add the salad greens, tomatoes and cheese and toss the ingredients. Mix the remaining olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and mustard and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss and taste. Add more vinegar to taste. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

Makes 6-8 servings

Asparagus Salad with Toasted Almonds and Goat Cheese

Mother’s Day plans got me thinking about some of the so-called “liberating” trends for women.  Like canned foods, which were, and did, make it easier for  housewives  to get dinner on the table. They no longer had to clean and cook veggies, for example. All they had to do was open the can and heat the stuff in a pot. (I knew someone who cooked canned food in the can to save on pot cleaning.)  Unfortunately, although canned vegetables did save work and time, they weren’t very tasty. They were also mushy and salty and lacked the nutritional value of fresh produce.  It doesn’t take much time to clean and cook fresh asparagus. Just a matter of rinsing them and cutting off the woody bottom, then either steaming, poaching, grilling or roasting them for a few minutes.  In fact asparagus is one of the quickest and easiest vegetables to cook. We eat them regularly, sprinkled with a little lemon juice.  When I have more time I use asparagus for salad. Like this one:     Asparagus Salad with Toasted Almonds and Goat Cheese         1/4 cup chopped almonds    1 pound slim or medium asparagus spears   3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar   2 tablespoons chopped shallot    1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint    1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill    2 ounces crumbled goat cheese    salt and pepper to taste         Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the almonds on a cookie sheet and bake them for 10-12 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and let cool. While the nuts are baking, wash the asparagus and cut off the tough, woody ends. Place the asparagus in a skillet, add one cup of water, cover the pan, bring the water to a boil and cook over high heat for 4-6 minutes or until tender, but still crispy. Drain under cold water, wipe dry and place on a serving platter. In a bowl, combine the   olive oil, vinegar,   shallot, mint and dill. Mix well and pour the dressing over the asparagus. Add the nuts and cheese and toss the ingredients to coat the asparagus completely. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.      Makes 4-6 servings      

Mother’s Day plans got me thinking about some of the so-called “liberating” trends for women.

Like canned foods, which were, and did, make it easier for housewives to get dinner on the table. They no longer had to clean and cook veggies, for example. All they had to do was open the can and heat the stuff in a pot. (I knew someone who cooked canned food in the can to save on pot cleaning.)

Unfortunately, although canned vegetables did save work and time, they weren’t very tasty. They were also mushy and salty and lacked the nutritional value of fresh produce.

It doesn’t take much time to clean and cook fresh asparagus. Just a matter of rinsing them and cutting off the woody bottom, then either steaming, poaching, grilling or roasting them for a few minutes.

In fact asparagus is one of the quickest and easiest vegetables to cook. We eat them regularly, sprinkled with a little lemon juice.

When I have more time I use asparagus for salad. Like this one:

 

Asparagus Salad with Toasted Almonds and Goat Cheese 

 

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1 pound slim or medium asparagus spears

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped shallot

1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint

1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the almonds on a cookie sheet and bake them for 10-12 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and let cool. While the nuts are baking, wash the asparagus and cut off the tough, woody ends. Place the asparagus in a skillet, add one cup of water, cover the pan, bring the water to a boil and cook over high heat for 4-6 minutes or until tender, but still crispy. Drain under cold water, wipe dry and place on a serving platter. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, shallot, mint and dill. Mix well and pour the dressing over the asparagus. Add the nuts and cheese and toss the ingredients to coat the asparagus completely. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

Makes 4-6 servings