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Asparagus

As the weather turns warmer we can get set to find a lot of fresh, local produce. Asparagus is only one of many wonderful foods we will be feasting on in the coming months. So today let’s take a look at asparagus salad.  As you will see we can enjoy asparagus cold as well as warm.

According to the website of the Washington Asparagus Commission, “Asparagus is one of nature's true food heroes as a source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Asparagus is also packed in the naturally occurring phytochemicals of glutathione, rutin, and folic acid. Asparagus, next to orange juice, is regarded as the second best whole foods source of folic acid. Folic acid is known to lower the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, liver disease, and spina bifida.”   Wow, that’s a lot of nutrition in just one food source.

Asparagus Salad with Port Vinaigrette

Serves 4

1 pound asparagus, peeled and cleaned

1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup green onion, cleaned and sliced

2 Tbl tawny port

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 clove minced garlic 

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

4 large green lettuce leaves

12 slices cucumber

2 tomatoes, cut into wedges

1/4 cup shredded carrots

Blanch asparagus, place in boiling. lightly salted, water for no more than 2 minutes, immediately drain and immerse in ice water to stop cooking, when cold, drain again.

Whisk together port, vinegar, oil, pepper and salt.  Place asparagus and green onion in bowl and pour over vinaigrette, toss to coat and marinate, on counter, for 1 hour.  Strain out marinade and reserve some on the green onion to garnish salad.

Place each lettuce leaf on a plate and build your salad with the all the ingredients.  Use the carrots second to last and the green onion on top of the carrots.  Think of attractive ways to build these ingredients.

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