This isn’t so much of a recipe as a method.
The salad is simplicity itself, bright green, crisp tender asparagus, thinly sliced red onion, and crumbled Feta cheese with a nice vinaigrette.
The deal here, is Alex Guarnaschelli’s handling of the asparagus, with two ice baths and salted and sugared water.
Cool, no? And it really makes for an excellent asparagus salad.
I started with thin spears of asparagus, so didn’t bother peeling them. By all means go ahead and peel thicker stems.
Both Alex and I don’t do that whole “snap the ends off” bit with asparagus – I’d end up wasting half of the stalk! Instead, I cut about an inch off of the woody ends and call it a job well and truly done.
Now, for the details…
•1 bunch asparagus
•2 tbsp Kosher Salt
•2 tbsp sugar
Once you’ve trimmed and peeled (if you’ve gone that route) your asparagus, pop the stalks into a large bowl of ice water while you set a large pot of water to a boil.
Once the water has come to a boil, stir in the Kosher salt and then the sugar.
Add the asparagus and boil for two to three minutes, until the stalks are crisp tender and brilliantly green.
Transfer back to the ice bath to stop them from cooking any more and to lock in that beautiful green color.
Transfer the cooled off asparagus to a clean kitchen towel on a plate and stash in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill and dry off completely before you put your salad together.
Now, about the salad.
Alex called for making a vinaigrette, but I had a bottle of this in the fridge that I thought would work just as well, so I went with that.
BTW, Thanks, Jenny, for the vinaigrette, it was tasty!
When ready to serve your salad, slice the asparagus on an angle and arrange on a platter with crumbled feta cheese, thinly sliced red onion, and chopped fresh parsley.
Toss with the vinaigrette before serving, or just pass the platter and allow folk to dress their own salads.
It really is all good; especially with a bit of pork risotto on the side.