elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: asparagus

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It was one of those perfect-weather weekends in Brooklyn. Even though yesterday included a devastating playoff loss for the  Nets, nothing was going to bring me down. We were so inspired by the weather that we grilled for the first time. You can roast this asparagus in the oven if a grill is not nearby. This recipe makes more than enough dressing for 1 bunch of asparagus, and I figure it would taste great on any green salad throughout the week. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 T honey or brown sugar
  • 2 T peeled and minced ginger (I’m a big fan of the ready-to-go minced ginger in glass jars)
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • sesame seeds, for garnish (optional) (Really, everything is optional…let’s be honest here)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody stems removed

Directions:

  1. Heat a grill to high heat.
  2. Place the first 7 ingredients (through the sesame oil) in a food processor (a mini one works) and blend until smooth. Add water to thin out if necessary. Set aside.
  3. Lightly coat asparagus with cooking spray or a touch of olive oil, and put in a grill basket. Heat on a grill for 2-4 minutes, shaking the basket once or twice, until spears are slightly tender and starting to brown. Remove from grill.
  4. Place asparagus in a large bowl, and coat with a few tablespoons of the dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using, and serve.
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As a follow-up from yesterday, here is a flavorful and simple asparagus recipe. This makes enough for 4 servings. Thanks to Bev Cooks for this recipe. I discovered that green lentils make for a nice weeknight meal because the whole thing took less than 30 minutes. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green lentils
  •  2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  •  1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1 Tbs. freshly minced fresh ginger
  •  1 Tbs Indian curry powder
  •  1/2 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  •  1 bunch kale, chopped
  •  1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  •  1 lemon
  •  coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Add the onion and saute until it starts to soften, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook the spices for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the asparagus and saute until bright green, 2 minutes. Add the kale and continue to saute until wilted, another 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the lentils and add them to the kale mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with lots of cilantro and a good squeeze of the lemon juice. Add more salt to taste.
  5. Serve with more cilantro and lemon juice

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Today was an exciting day at the Carroll Gardens Farmer’s Market. There were ramps and asparagus! Seeing these signs of spring made me feel better about still wearing my winter coat on April 21st. I was hoping that Grazin’ Angus had some fresh cream so I could make my own butter, but they didn’t.  They did have their own butter, which I used for this recipe.  Thanks for Birdworms and Buttermilk for this great idea. I think this would be a great base for sautéing some of the asparagus I got this morning. I tasted a little bit of this today, and reluctantly froze the rest. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound butter, softened (I used unsalted, so I added salt to the recipe)
  • 1 bunch ramps, cleaned
  • zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)

Directions:

  1. Place butter in medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Blanch ramps in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then place in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Squeeze excess water and then chop the ramps.
  3. Add the chopped ramps, zest, lemon juice, and salt (if using) to the butter and mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula.
  4. Form the butter into a log shape on a piece of parchment paper. Tightly roll the parchment paper around the butter, and twist the ends tootsie-roll style. Store in the freezer until you are ready to enjoy.