Baby Greens and Asparagus with Almond Vinaigrette

Mary Sue and Susan created this distinctive roasted almond salad dressing as the perfect compliment for spring greens and vegetables. Feel free to substitute your favorite veggies--everything from lightly steamed green beans to sautéed sugar snap peas to thinly sliced, pan seared baby artichokes.

Serves 6

18 asparagus spears (about 1 pound), trimmed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound white or oyster mushrooms, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound (6 cups loosely packed) baby greens, such as oak leaf, mache, and watercress
Almond Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Blanch the asparagus in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until bright green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl of iced water. Drain and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch-long pieces. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until very hot. Sauté the mushrooms just to soften, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and sauté briefly until the aroma is released. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly toss the baby greens with about half of the Almond Vinaigrette. Divide into 6 portions and place on serving plates. Divide the mushrooms and sprinkle across the top.

In the same bowl, toss the blanched asparagus with the remaining vinaigrette. Divide among the salads, fanning the spears across the top.

Almond Vinaigrette

Makes 3/4 cup

1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When the almonds are cool, transfer to a blender or food processor along with the remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Store in a container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
 
 
 

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© 2012 Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.  All rights reserved.