That Which Is Old Becomes New Again
It’s no secret that chefs recycle dishes they have done in the past, most times those dishes will be tweaked to make them better, make them more seasonal, or just because they work really well. The Lobster Tacos I’ve brought to the restaurant are a version of the ones I used to do a couple of years ago. This asparagus salad though, is exactly the way I created it more than 12 years ago. The only exception I make to the original recipe is the use of local asparagus.
Asparagus is one of the cool-season vegetables that does well in Colorado as long as we avoid that early spring snow. Local asparagus usually becomes available right around Easter at the earliest and is in full swing through May. Other vegetables that do well in the cool Colorado spring are horseradish, rhubarb and shallots. While asparagus is available year round from Mexico, Peru and California, it’s hard to beat asparagus grown just up the road.
Asparagus was easily one of the first vegetables I enjoyed as a kid. My mom would blanch it quickly so it was still crisp and drench it in butter and salt, so much butter in fact that a greasy chin was part of the fun. It is one of the most versatile vegetables being that the preparations are endless. A chef friend of mine candies asparagus tips to serve over sweetbreads and lemon risotto, yeah, it’s awesome. Save for the tremendous odor it imparts to urine, asparagus could be the perfect vegetable.
One of the beauties of asparagus is the simplicity and speed with which it can be prepared. The asparagus for this salad can just as easily be blanched but I like the slight bitterness the charred asparagus adds to citrus and goat cheese. This dish is extremely easy to prepare and could easily be used as the garnish to a simple piece of grilled fish.
- 1 # Colorado asparagus (if it’s not from Colorado, the recipe should still work)
- 2 blood oranges, segmented and juiced
- ½ cup filberts, toasted and chopped
- ½ cup tarragon leaves, fresh
- 4 oz. olive oil + 1 oz for grilling
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- Fleur de Sel to finish
- Cracked Black Pepper to finish
- Brush the asparagus with the 1 oz. of olive oil and grill just until the asparagus begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Portion the asparagus over 4 plates.
- Garnish each of the four plates with the remaining ingredients as they are listed.
- Serve immediately.