Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chilled Fresh Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette










Category: Vegetables
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Healthy

OK. Say it's Easter. You have ham and maybe a rice dish. You need a vegetable that's what! And asparagus is in season! Since we already have so much hot food, try this for a refreshing, lemony contrast. This recipe was filched and adapted after I saw Alex Guarnaschelli do it on Food Network.com. It tastes as fresh as Spring itself!

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh pencil-sized asparagus
2 lemons, juiced
2 T white wine vinegar ( I use Rice Wine Vinegar)
1 heaping t. honey
1 T Dijon mustard (Alex used 2 T--but I wanted the dressing to taste more like lemon)
4 T olive oil
2-3 T roasted, salted sunflower seeds (optional, but very advisable! It's the salt...)


Directions:

First, put a large soup pot, filled with about 4 inches of hot water on the stove. Set the heat on high. Then get out a 9X13 inch baking pan, fill it with water and ice. Trim the ends of the asparagus and put it in the cold water for 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon or spatula, take the asparagus out of the ice-water and transfer it to the water on the stove that is now boiling. Leave it for 4-5 minutes until the asparagus is just cooked, but not limp. Transfer the cooked asparagus back to the cold water (you may need to add more ice) to "shock" it and let it cool. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Drain the asparagus and place it on a serving plate. Spoon vinaigrette over it and roll the asparagus in it until completely coated. Arrange asparagus on the plate (or plates, if serving individual portions) in a haphazard manner instead of lining the stalks up straight. It looks better that way. Garnish with salted sunflower seeds and some quartered lemon. Delightful!



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