Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Asparagus, Green Onion, Cucumber, and Herb Salad

With this past heat wave in California I decided it was time to break out the salads again. Of course, by the time I actually get around to writing this up, I'm back to wearing sweatshirts to school.
When I found this recipe on Epicurious, a pretty reliable site for recipes, I knew I needed to try it. I love asparagus, cucumber, and green onions. I followed the advice of many reviewers and decreased the oil by a factor of three. The recipe originally asked for 3/4 cup! I used a 1/4 cup instead. Strongly flavored vegetables don't need as much flavoring, and pools of oil are quite unappetizing.
I wanted my salad to be fresh, so I increased the herds for a couple meager tablespoons of many different herbs (which leaves a lot of waste) to a whopping 1 1/2 cups of just 3 kinds. I served the whole cold rather than at room temperature.
The original recipe also included complicated steps to cook the green onions in the asparagus water. I just left the green onions raw.

Recipe: A slight variation on Epicurious' Asparagus, Green Onion, Cucumber, and Herb Salad (Serves 10)

Ingredients

Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about a half lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (1/2 tsp regular)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salad:
  • 3 pounds medium asparagus, trimmed
  • 4 cups thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 large hothouse cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup mint
  • 1/2 cup chives/chervil/more parsley or mint/whatever you like

Preparation

For dressing:
Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and rewhisk beforeusing.

For salad:
Fill large bowl with lightly salted ice water; stir until salt dissolves. Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. (or steam 3 minutes) Transfer asparagus to bowl of salted ice water to cool. DO AHEAD: Asparagus can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap separately in several layers of paper towels, then enclose in resealable plastic bags and refrigerate.

Combine green onions, cucumbers, and herbs in mixing bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange asparagus on platter. Spoon cucumber mixture over and serve.

**I have not tried it yet, but it might be beneficial to just mix the asparagus in the dressing with the cucumbers and onions instead of spooning the dressed cucumbers on top of them**

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