Loveladles

Food Lovers Recipes

ASPARAGUS SALAD

I love the simplicity of this salad. It’s such a quick and delicious side dish. Its three basic ingredients complement each other perfectly and can accompany many main courses. It’s also a winner served as a light lunch – with poached eggs and warm bread perhaps.
I’ve been a bit obsessed with asparagus lately. This might be because it’s in season right now and I can easily find wonderfully fresh produce. But let’s face it – it’s a wee bit sexy too. Just look at it. Its season is from February to June but it peaks in April. Source it carefully and buy organically grown whenever you can – it’s always worth it.   Asparagus deteriorates quickly once it has been picked, so you’ll find the best grown locally, from farmer’s markets. Ideally you should eat it on the day that you buy it. It should be bright green in colour with no signs of shrivelling. The tips should be firm and closed, never ‘mushy’. The thicker specimens are often more tender due to the smaller ratio of skin to volume. If you have the outdoor space, go mad and try growing your own!
I think you should all get as excited about serving it as I am…so here are some ‘fun facts’ about asparagus:-
Earliest records show that it was cultivated in Greece about 2500 years ago. Our ancient ancestors believed in its medicinal properties and used it as a cure for toothache. Then the Romans got all keen (well, they would, wouldn’t they) and grew it behind high, protective walls. It didn’t appear in England until the 1600s.
It contains more folic acid than any other vegetable and is also a good source of potassium (which helps to lower blood-pressure) and vitamins E, A and C.
My favourite: 6 spears are only 22 calories. Oh yes. Doesn’t apply if you smother them in delicious salted butter though.
The white variety is more tender than the green but has less flavour as the growing shoots are kept hidden from light under the soil. (Buy green!)

INGREDIENTS
Asparagus – about 3 bunches should be enough for a large platter to serve 8 as a side dish
Olive oil
Rocket (Arugula) – enough to densely cover the bottom of your platter. Washed and patted dry.
Parmesan cheese – thinly shaved
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Balsamic vinegar

METHOD

  • Wash and trim the asparagus spears. Make sure that you chop off all the tough woody part of each stem – you don’t want your guests making faces of disgust and spitting out revolting, hairy bits of un-chewable asparagus. Pat them dry with kitchen paper. Cut them in half if they’re still long.

  • Place them in a bowl and drizzle a little good quality olive oil over them.
  • Sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Now with your fingers make sure that the asparagus spears are all well coated with oil and seasoned.
  • Heat a skillet over a high flame.

  • When it’s very hot, place the asparagus spears on it and sear them. They will take on a deeper green colour and then gradually, slightly brown. This will only take a minute or two. Do your utmost not to overcook them. They should remain a little crunchy and also have pungent aroma from the grilling process. Do this in batches and place the cooked spears on a kitchen dish.

  • Assemble the salad: place the rocket on your serving platter, scatter the seared asparagus over the top and finish with the parmesan cheese shavings.
  • Season with a little more black pepper and drizzle some good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.

“Simples”.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.