I can’t complain and am so grateful for a memorable June trip. David and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in Canada with a trip to Montreal and Quebec. The St. Lawrence River and the charming old streets were beautiful. When traveling, I seek out farmers markets (even though I can’t buy or cook my finds) and loved seeing the local produce and gorgeous flowers. It felt more like spring there and the markets were full of strawberries, rhubarb and asparagus.
We came home to the intense heat of a Midwestern summer, but memories last forever. I found asparagus and lots of fresh greens at my local market this weekend, and had to make one of my favorite asparagus salads. (It is a recipe from our book, The Newlywed Cookbook, Cooking Happily Ever After.) In fact, it is so good, thanks to the roasting, that you can make the salad year round using fresh asparagus from the grocery store. Plus, if you are grilling this weekend, it is the perfect accompaniment. (Use the grill to cook the asparagus and don’t heat up the kitchen. Just lightly oil the asparagus and grill it until crisp-tender; proceed as the recipe directs.)
I am looking forward to lots of summer ahead and will enjoy the corn, peaches and tomatoes that summer brings, but I recommend you give this recipe a try now.
Roasted Asparagus Salad
4 ounces fresh asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1½ cups torn fresh spring or mixed greens
½ cup torn fresh arugula leaves
¼ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper strips
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450° F.
Snap off the woody ends of asparagus, and if desired, using the tip of a sharp knife, remove the scales. Place the asparagus in a gallon size zip-top bag. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Seal the bag and massage gently to distribute the oil. Place the asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the asparagus is crisp tender. (Alternately, grill asparagus until just crisp-tender, turning to cook evenly.) Set aside to cool slightly.
Dressing: Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, honey and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine the spring greens, arugula and red pepper in a salad bowl. Drizzle with about half of the dressing mixture and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the greens on two salad plates. Top with the roasted asparagus. Drizzle with the remaining dressing mixture. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Makes 2 servings.
This salad can be doubled or tripled if you are serving guests.
Add 1 clove garlic, minced, to the dressing if you enjoy the flavor of garlic.
Asparagus ranges in size and thickness so 1 pound of asparagus can have just 12 spears, or could have 20, 30 or more spears. For this salad, about 10 to 12 very thin spears is ideal for they roast quickly and are attractive on the bed of greens.
If arugula is not available or if you prefer, use 2 cups of spring or mixed greens and omit the arugula.
Recipe Credit: The Newlywed Cookbook, Cooking Happily Ever After, by Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore (St. Martin’s Press, 2014.) This book is the ideal wedding or shower present for any couple, but don’t stop there. It has great recipes for smaller families and couples!