Asparagus is delicious cooked, but it's also really good raw. And this time of year, when the asparagus is coming in fast, you need more than one way to cook it and eat it.
I made up this recipe on Friday night when I had fresh asparagus and the perfect weather for a quick on-the-grill dinner of lemon-garlic chicken, Romano couscous, and asparagus salad. The whole meal took me about 20 minutes to make.
I'll share all these recipes with you, but first comes the salad:
Raw Asparagus Salad
Serves 4 to 6 people
1 bunch (12 to 20 sticks) asparagus
3 sprigs mint
2 sprigs basil
¼ cup pine nuts
Juice of ½ lemon
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
1. Wash the asparagus and snap off the ends (bend the stalk and let it break where it will; that's how you know you have the fresh part left). Cut into 2-inch pieces and quarter (like julienned, only without the fuss).
2. Wash and chop the mint (I prefer apple mint) and basil and add to the asparagus.
3. Toast the pine nuts and add to the salad.
4. Make the dressing using the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Emulsify with a fork and mix with the asparagus.
It seemed like it might be good with some fresh feta cheese, but I didn't have any. Of course, I always add fresh ground pepper too, but my kids don't like it so I just add it to mine.
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.