Asparagus Salad With Creamy Herbed Dressing


If asparagus stalks are thick (and in my opinion better eating), then peel before using. Break the stalk at its natural break then peel up to the head with a vegetable peeler. I use green asparagus as it stands up best to the strongly flavoured dressing. Any leftover dressing can be used with a green salad or mix it with a few tablespoons of deli-style cream cheese to make a dip or spread on a sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed and stalks peeled (see note above)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (homemade or good-quality store bought)
  • 1 tsp Dijon or grainy mustard
  • 1 cup watercress or baby arugula leaves
  • ½ tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives, cut in 2-inch pieces
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation

  1. Bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes, or until crisp tender. Remove from skillet with tongs and immediately hold under cold water until cold. Pat dry. Reserve.
  2. In a food processor or blender combine mayonnaise, mustard, watercress, orange rind and juice and lemon juice. Process until chunky. Slowly pour oil through feed tube with machine running. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange asparagus on a platter. Drizzle dressing over top; sprinkle with chives and top with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.