Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Asparagus - Lemon Vinaigrette Salad
Fresh spring asparagus takes a bow on the salad bar before we say "farewell" to cool-weather crops in Central Texas. Makes 8 servings
2 pounds asparagus
2 minced shallots
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons mixed citrus zest from lemon and orange, divided
Juice of one lemon (about 2 tbsp)
2 tablespoons orange juice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Break off the tough butts of the asparagus. Wash asparagus well.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Steam the asparagus for 7 to 10 minutes. Test for tenderness. Drain and plunge into a pan of ice water to stop cooking. When cool, wrap in paper towels then place in a plastic bag. Refrigerate.
3. Soak the shallot in a small bowl of water and set aside 10 minutes. Drain well.
4. Mix shallots, mustard, 1 teaspoon citrus zest, the lemon and orange juices, olive oil, salt and pepper in a mini-food processor or small jar with lid. Shake well to combine. Refrigerate.
5. About 20 minutes before serving, arrange the asparagus on a platter and drizzle the vinaigrette over it. To marinate evenly, gently stir the asparagus after 10 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining citrus zest over the top before serving.
Chef’s note: Soaking shallots or other onions in water extracts their raw bite.