Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cold Marinated Asparagus Salad

Cold Marinated Asparagus Salad - Fresh asparagus, cooked to crisp tender, then marinated in an oil and vinegar seasoned dressing with pimentos, and finished with sliced grape tomatoes.

Cold Marinated Asparagus Salad

I am so happy to see that spring has arrived, though, much like the rest of the country, we had a bit of a cold snap to usher in the spring season. No snow in the south, but we did get temps down in the mid-30s, even here in south Mississippi. No worries though... won't be long before we'll all be complaining about the heat! My A/C has already been running full time, though truly, I never turned the central heat on one time this winter. The few cold snaps we did have were covered just fine by my little Duraflame fireplace heaters.

I am so happy to see most of the perennials I planted last year poking through the ground, along with far too many weeds... well, all but the lavender at least, which was beautiful, but got pulverized by last summer's heat. My old house had a north/south exposure, and lots of trees, but this house faces west, and without many trees on the property, the sun, and the electric bill, are intense. I'm seriously considering solar panels - feel like I should be harnessing some of that heat, and if the cost weren't so prohibitive, I would have already invested!

I've already received some of my new perennials from Cottage Farms too, so we've been looking a bit like a nursery around here as I held onto the plants inside, first for the cold snap, and now waiting for this next storm to roll through today and this weekend. If you have cats that own you like I do, you know inside cats and inside plants aren't exactly compatible!

Anyway, speaking of this weekend, I can hardly believe Easter is upon us and as usual, another holiday has surprised me - everything comes up and passes so quickly these days. It sure seems like as I inch closer to 60, time is spinning! I have a coconut sheet cake that I have been trying to get posted for I don't even know how many holidays now, and I've still not managed to get it posted. Might as well go ahead and remake it now into a layer cake! Oh well... so I'm not the most organized food blogger.

Since spring is here and Easter is upon us though, I'm bringing you this marinated salad made with fresh asparagus. It is absolutely delicious and perfect for any spring dinner. I wrote the recipe with the holiday in mind, but since there's only two of us, and one of us doesn't eat vegetables, nevermind asparagus, I'm making a half recipe in the photos, using one pound of asparagus. Here's how to make it.

Trim the asparagus and if thick, use a vegetable peeler to peel away the very outer layer of the lower portions of the trimmed asparagus, which may be a bit too woody and tough for a raw salad. You can snap the asparagus where they naturally bend, but I generally just cut off the bottom quarter portion all at once, which seems to work for me.


Cut asparagus into thirds, rinse well and steam or cook until crisp tender. I used my microwave grill pan with a little water for 4 minutes to steam, though stovetop will be close to that too. Just remember you want them to be only crisp-tender and not soft.

Since there are have so many products made specifically for microwave cooking in the past few years, I've really been using mine a lot more beyond the making of popcorn, warming leftovers and heating up my coffee. One of my favorite microwave tools is the Fasta Pasta cooker. I literally use that just about every day for something - potatoes, rice, veggies and, of course, pasta. This grill pan is another favorite. I even make wings in it!


Place asparagus in a lidded storage container. Combine marinade ingredients in a saucepan. Extra virgin olive oil is a bit too strong for this salad, so I prefer using a lighter salad or cooking oil.


Bring to a boil, then stir in the pimentos.


Pour dressing over the cut asparagus, toss, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to two days. Let salad come to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving. I also like to add some grape tomatoes right before serving.


Since I'm not a fan of squirting bite-sized tomatoes, I like to halve them. Adding them too early waters down the dressing, and the tomatoes can suffer in texture too, so I just toss them in right before serving.


You can spoon the salad over shredded lettuce, or just serve it as is.



Recipe: Cold Marinated Asparagus Salad

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 8 hours | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds, cooked crisp tender
  • 1 cup light olive oil or salad oil (canola, vegetable, sunflower, safflower)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons Creole mustard
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (2 ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced
  • Shredded lettuce, optional
Instructions

Trim asparagus, cut into thirds and steam or cook until crisp tender. Bring marinade ingredients to a boil, add the pimentos and pour over the asparagus. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to two days. Let come to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving; toss in the tomato halves. Serve as-is, or spoon over shredded lettuce, if desired.

Cook's Notes: If asparagus are thick, use a vegetable peeler to peel away the very outer layer of the lower portions of the trimmed asparagus, which may be a bit too woody and tough for a salad.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on March 24, 2016
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