Sunday, 12 May 2013 19:18

Preparing Exotic Asparagus Salad

According to Larissa Choma spring is the perfect time to incorporate seasonal vegetables that taste best in the prime growing season. Tender asparagus has a snap that is best in cool weather. Larissa Choma happened onto this recipe a couple of years ago when she went crazy buying vegetables at the local farmer’s market. Larissa needed a way to combine existing staples in the pantry with her purchases. The result was a tasty salad that has since become a

family favorite with her family.

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Asparagus Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

SERVES: 4-6 people

PREPARATION TIME: 7 minutes
COOKING TIME: 5 minutes

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BUTTERMILK DRESSING:

• Garlic - 1 medium clove
• Sea salt - 1 teaspoon, fine grain
• Buttermilk - 1 cup
• White wine vinegar - ¼ cup
• Olive Oil - ¼ extra virgin

Directions for dressing:

1. Crush the garlic clove with the side of a knife blade and add the salt. Continue to blend until a paste is formed.
2. Transfer the paste to a tall glass bowl, jar or measuring cup.
3. Add the buttermilk and vinegar. Whisk together until smooth.
4. Use a whisk to blend the olive oil into the mixture.
5. Allow the dressing to “rest,” while assembling the salad.

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ASPARAGUS SALAD:

• Asparagus - 1 pound, trimmed and cut in one-inch segments
• Posole, or hominy - 1 large handful, see notes below
• Cilantro - 1 handful, chopped
• Sprouts - 1 handful, use spicy sprouts, such as radish sprouts to enhance the salad flavor

Directions for salad:

Saute, or steam, the asparagus. My favorite method is to use a simple basket steamer over water in a skillet.
1. Another option is to “Steam/sauté.” Place a cold skillet on the stove. Add ¼ cup of water, a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
2. Turn the heat to medium high, add the asparagus and place the lid on the skillet.
3. Cook the asparagus for ONE minute. Use a timer to prevent overcooking the asparagus. The bright green color indicates that the asparagus has been cooked perfectly.
4. Transfer the asparagus to a cold-water bath to stop the cooking process.
5. Set the asparagus aside.

6. Prepare the other ingredients. Chop the cilantro. Clean the sprouts. Drain the hominy.
7. Immediately before serving, combine the asparagus, cilantro, posole, and sprouts in a large salad bowl.
8. Add a generous quantity of buttermilk dressing and toss the ingredients well to coat the salad with dressing.

Extra dressing can be used for other dishes, such as noodles, vegetables, salads and grains.

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WHAT IS POZOLE?

Anyone from New Mexico or Texas knows that the term “pozole” is used for a number of dishes prepared with a certain variety of corn. For everyone else, some terms require clarification.

• Pozole - Dried corn purchased in a small bag.

• Hominy - Cooked pozole that can be purchased in a can. Great cooks prefer to cook pozole at home because the hominy tastes so much better.

• Pozole - A general term used in reference to the stew made with hominy. Hundreds of variations of Pozole recipes have been passed down through the generations. Family get-togethers are not complete without multiple versions of pozole on the table.

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Enjoy this spring salad recipe. Substitute other greens to make personal variations with the ingredients on hand. Spring vegetables offer an early respite from the long winter months that have lacked color and interest on the dinner table.

 

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Cooking

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