Chilled Asparagus Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 quarts water
  • Kosher salt
  • 32 stalks small to medium-size green asparagus, washed and ends trimmed
  • 1 pint Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

I like asparagus al dente, slightly crunchy. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over medium heat. Add salt until it tastes like mild seawater.

Prepare an ice bath by filling a bowl, large enough to hold the asparagus, with cold water. Add some ice cubes. Plunge the asparagus into the ice bath before cooking. This will help to bring any limp stalks back to life. Remove from the ice bath, plunge them into the boiling water and allow them to cook, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water, transferring them immediately to the same ice bath. Allow them to sit in the ice bath for a few minutes, swirling them gently in the water to assure they are all cooling quickly in the cold water.

Dry the stalks once they are removed from the ice bath. Taking care that no water gets into the final salad is the best way to assure that the maximum flavor will be enjoyed! Transfer the asparagus to a large plate or platter lined with a kitchen towel and refrigerate.

In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, honey and mustard. Stir to blend. Whisk in the olive oil in an even, steady stream. When all of the oil has been integrated, taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.

When ready to serve, remove the kitchen towel from the asparagus and toss the asparagus and tomatoes in the dressing to coat them completely. Arrange the stalks and tomatoes on plates and serve.

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