Recipe: Chilled Asparagus Salad
• 6 quarts water
• 2 tbsp granulated sugar
• 32 stalks small to medium-size green asparagus, washed and ends trimmed
• 2 lemons, juiced
• 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 1 tsp honey
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 4 tbsp olive oil
1. Trim the ends of the asparagus. If you are using smaller, thinner asparagus, the stalks are too thin to peel and you need that protective layer so the asparagus keep their shape during cooking. For larger asparagus, where the skin is tougher, peel the stalk but leave the tip and an inch or so below the tip, unpeeled. The top is tender enough that it can be cooked as it.
2. For asparagus that is al dente, slightly crunchy, bring the water to a boil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sugar.
3. Prepare an ice bath by filling a bowl, large enough to hold the asparagus, with cold water. Add some ice cubes. Plunge the asparagus into the ice bath before cooking. This will help to bring any limp stalks back to life. Remove from the ice bath, plunge them into the bowling water and allow them to cook, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water, transferring them immediately to the same ice bath. Allow them to sit in the ice bath for a few minutes, swirling them gently in the water to assure they are all cooling quickly in the cold water.
4. Dry the stalks once they are removed from the ice bath. Taking care that no water gest into the final salad is the best way to assure that maximum flavor will be enjoyed. Transfer the asparagus to a large plate or platter lined with a kitchen towel and refrigerate.
5. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, honey and mustard. Stir to blend. Whisk in the olive oil in an even, steady, stream. When all of the oil has been integrated, taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
6. When ready to serve, remove the kitchen towel from the asparagus and simply toss the asparagus in the dressing to coat them completely. Arrange the stalks on a plate and serve
Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories: 28, Total Fat 0.1g, Cholesterol