Recipes Articles Book Reviews Shopping Forum Contact

Chilled Asparagus with Red Pepper Vinaigrette

from The Taste of Summer by Diane Rossen Worthington
Chilled Asparagus with Red Pepper Vinaigrette

2 medium garlic cloves
1 medium shallot
3 tablespoons finely chopped red sweet pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

2 pounds asparagus, preferably thin, tough ends trimmed and spears peeled

2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons finely chopped red sweet pepper or roasted red sweet pepper

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in
The Taste of Summer
by Diane Rossen Worthington from Chronicle Books

Springtime signals the arrival of asparagus in the market, to be enjoyed into the summer. Chilled asparagus is especially refreshing for a luncheon or a casual dinner I am always experimenting with different variations on vinaigrette, and this one was created especially for these slender spears. A puree of red sweet pepper is added to the dressing to give it a distinctive color and taste. Toasted pine nuts and chopped red pepper garnish the finished dish. Serve the asparagus on a buffet table or as a first course.

1. To make the vinaigrette, in a food processor, combine the garlic, shallot, and red pepper and process until minced. Add the vinegars, lemon juice, mayonnaise, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until combined. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil, processing until blended. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.

2. Bring a large sauté pan of salted water to a boil and add the asparagus. Boil until just tender, about 5 minutes. (They will continue to cook a bit longer off the heat.) With a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain.

3. Arrange the asparagus on a rectangular serving platter. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

4. To prepare the garnish, preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast the pine nuts until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

5. When ready to serve, pour the vinaigrette evenly over the asparagus. Garnish with the red pepper and pine nuts and serve immediately

This may he prepared 8 hours in advance through step 4 and refrigerated until ready to serve. Garnish just before serving.

Copyright © 2007 Epicurean.com & Chronicle Books
All rights reserved