Here's another one I'm playing catch-up with. I was a little leery of the raw asparagus thing but they tasted great. Just don't make the mistake that Chris did (though I warned him not to) and buy thin asparagus. They're very hard to peel. This was quite the refreshing/tasty salad and in the future, I'm thinking this would be a great Passover Seder addition, with all the flavors of spring.
Asparagus, Pea and Arugula Salad
Again, apologies on the picture quality.
Raw Asparagus, Pea, and Arugula Salad
For the dressing--put these ingredients in the food processor, and whirl to combine. Taste and adjust to your liking.
- 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar, rice-wine vinegar, or other delicate, slightly sweet vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup hazelnut, toasted walnut, or pistachio oil (or just increase the olive oil--but a nut oil adds a lot of flavor)
- 1/4 cup light-tasting olive oil
- Salt--a pinch
- Pepper--a few grinds
1 lb fat asparagus
2 cups garden peas; or frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 lb arugula (about 6 cups)
1 cup toasted walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, or other nuts (I used pine nuts, but next time I think I'll use something nuttier like pistachios or walnuts)
a chunk of good parmesan cheese
Snap off just the really woody bottom end of the asparagus. Since you'll be peeling the stems, you can use more than usual. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the stems all the way up, stopping just at the tips. (this step will make the stalks much more tender and juicy!) Cut off the tips, and blanch the tips for 2 minutes. Slice the stems on the diagonal in one-inch diagonal slices. Put the arugula in a bowl, and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat. In another bowl, combine the asparagus tips, cut-up stems, and the peas. Toss this mixture with dressing as well. Place a serving of the arugula on each salad plate. Top arugula with a portion of the vegetables. Shave large slices of the parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler, and add to the salads. Sprinkle on nuts, and serve.