Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Asparagus, Avocado and Arugula Salad

Last Wednesday's asparagus curry, which I made up, was very good. But before deciding to make it, I considered an avocado that I had in the fridge. (Yes, refrigerating avocados is a good thing. They ripen more slowly in there.)

Anyhoo, I really, really wanted to make a salad with the asparagus AND the avocado. Green, right? I was kind of in a monochromatic mood. And I adore the thrill of making something memorably tasty with just what I have on hand. But I just couldn't picture avocado and asparagus getting along with each other. I was pretty convinced that in the history of cooking, no one had combined them. So I turned away.

Little did I know that once again, I'd be shown that courageous cooking is the better way. The very next day, I stumbled across this book at our local Barnes and Noble, and there it was! The very salad I thought could not exist!

But it does.
Adapted from The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway

What a glorious triumph of farmer's market greenery. The original recipe called for watercress rather than arugula. They're both peppery, so either will do. I thought the lemon peel would add, too ... and it does. This is a rich-tasting, lemony, peppery salad that is worthy of a role in a special dinner.

1-1/2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 avocado, diced
3-4 spring onions, white and a little of the green parts, sliced
4 cups arugula, washed, spun and sliced

1 organic lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Toss the asparagus into boiling water for a few minutes, until it's tender-crisp but still bright green. Drain and set aside.

Into a large bowl, grate the peel of the lemon. Then cut the lemon in half and juice it.

In a small bowl, toss the avocado thoroughly with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. This prevents the avocado getting brown.

Into the large bowl with the lemon peel, whisk the remaining lemon juice with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the asparagus and toss well, then add the arugula and onions and toss well. Lastly, add the avocado and toss lightly to mix.

Serves 6 to 8.

Update: Two days later, this salad is as attractive and delicious as when it was made. I attribute this to the step of mixing the avocado thoroughly with lemon juice. It didn't get even a little brown!

No comments:

Post a Comment