13 April 2010

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Asparagus Salad

I'm so happy that it's been warm outside. Warm and sunshine-y. And beautiful with flowers blooming. I'm also a little happy that lighter foods sound best. If it were up to me, I'd have a meat-free week of meals, but since I have a husband, I don't think he's up for being a vegetarian for a week. Although, last night we had a meal of bread, wine, cheese and apples, and he's okay with having that again this week.

I'm also planning to work this Roasted Asparagus Salad into the menu for the week. Y'all, it's amazing! I've fixed it a couple of times, and I could just eat it everyday. It has so many favorites: asparagus, avocado, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. I'm salivating just thinking about it. Like other recipes I've posted, this requires chopping of vegetables, but it's so worth it. And one time, we added grilled chicken to it to "man it up." But I think Southern Living knew what they were doing when they published it as a salad without meat.

Roasted Asparagus Salad
Serves 3 meal-sized salads or 6 side salads

1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (about 1/2 pint)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 head green leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 avocado

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus; remove scales with a vegetable peeler, if desired.

2. Stir together 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp. chopped basil, 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl.

3. Add asparagus to olive oil mixture, and toss gently to coat. Place asparagus on a lightly greased baking sheet.

4. Bake asparagus at 425° for 13 to 15 minutes or to desired degree of tenderness. Cool 10 minutes.

5. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic, and remaining 7 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. basil, and 1/4 tsp. salt.

6. Toss together tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar mixture.

7. Arrange lettuce on individual serving plates. Top with tomato mixture and asparagus. Add avocado just before serving. Drizzle with remaining balsamic vinegar mixture.

Note: To make ahead, toss together tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion without dressing. Store these ready-to-use ingredients in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to five hours. The dressing and asparagus can also be made up to eight hours before serving.

1 comment :

Pleasant Drive said...

1. Happy 30th! I definitely think that a party is due you!

2. I can eat that salad! Yummy! In fact, I have all of the ingredients and I might make it tonight.