Saturday, June 2, 2012

Asparagus Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

This dish just screams summer to me. There's something about asparagus and lemons that make me want to go digging in my garden.
I saw this recipe on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website and I knew I had to get Lee to make it!   The tangy sweetness of the dressing and the earthiness of the asparagus and the salty, meaty goodness of the carpicola all complement each other so well!
The original recipe called for coppa for the meat, we couldn't find it, but just about any kind of smoked meat will work here and we found capicola at an excursion to Kendrick's Meat Market in South St. Louis.  If you have not been there... man, you need to go.
We had a lot of dressing left over so we put it in a Leifheit Decorative Canning Jar and have been using it on salads ever since!  It's so good!

Here's what you need:

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 cup White Wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the garlic, lemon juice, mustard, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until combined. 

Slowly add the olive oil with the processor on, I have a food processor that lets me put it in the top on it slowly drips down.  It's a lot like this little guy: Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor - Chrome.

Here it is all blended up.

Take a peeler and peel long strips of the asparagus, place in a bowl and put 1/4 cup of the above vinaigrette over the asparagus ribbons and marinate for 5 minutes.

When your ready to make the salad, place 5 pieces of your capricola, coppa or smoked meat of your choice down on a plate.  Take the marinated asparagus and make a nest in the middle of the plate. Top with shaved parmigiano cheese and more vinaigrette if you like.  Serve Immediately!

Note:  I heated my capicola in a pan to crisp it up but that is optional.

  • 1 bunch (about 12 stalks) asparagus, trimmed and very thinly shaved or sliced lengthwise using a knife or mandolin
  • 1 small, young onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Vinaigrette (Recipe Above)
  • 14 slices spicy coppa salami (prosciutto, capicola or pancetta can be substituted)
  • Shaved Parmigiano, for garnish
1. Place shaved asparagus and onion in a bowl. Add vinaigrette, tossing to coat. Set aside for a few minutes to soften the asparagus and onion.
2. Meanwhile, divide the coppa between 2 plates.
3. Take the marinated asparagus and onion (it should be pliable like firm noodles), gently twist them into two little nests and place atop the coppa. Garnish with shaved Parmigiano. Serve immediately.

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