‘Tis the season to enjoy asparagus, and how better to savor the flavor than to serve lightly steamed, well chilled spears in a salad with some good bleu cheese and a refreshing lemon vinaigrette on top?
In a (kinda) continuation of yesterday’s vintage ham cake theme – where I cooked my take on a 1950’s ham cake in oil blended with yellow mustard (nice move!) – I found the basis for this fine (and naturally sugar free!) salad dressing in a cooking oil advertisement from that same era.
A few simple ingredients, a good shake in a covered jar, and you have yourself a very nice dressing for just about any salad.
•Sliced sweet onion
•1/2 cup oil
•2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
•2 tbsp white wine vinegar
•2 tbsp water
•1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
•1/4 tsp garlic powder
Cut off the tough bottom ends of the asparagus and stash ’em in a closed zipper bag in the freezer – they’re indispensable for making asparagus soup. Heat water in a large skillet (or, if you have one, an asparagus steamer like this) until boiling, then add salt until the water tastes like seawater – mebbe a tablespoon or so.
Add the asparagus and cook for just two or three minutes, you want your asparagus bright green and crisp tender, not olive drab and soggy.
Immediately plunge the asparagus into a large bowl filled with ice water. This will stop the asparagus from cooking further and help to keep them that nice, bright green.
Transfer the asparagus to a clean kitchen towel on a platter, wrap loosely, and stash in the fridge for at least an hour; until very well chilled and nicely dried.
While the asparagus is chilling, make your vinaigrette by combining the ingredients together in a covered jar (one of those cruets from that ‘home made’ packet mix works a treat), and shake well to combine. You’ll need to do this each time you go to serve this dressing, but that’s not really a hardship, is it?
I chose to slice my asparagus and serve them on top of some chopped Romaine with sliced sweet onion, grape tomatoes, and some very good bleu cheese, but you could easily just arrange the chilled spears on a platter and serve with the vinaigrette on the side.
I mean, it’s asparagus, so that means it really is all good!