Asparagus salad days ahead

Asparagus salad anyone?

Local asparagus will be coming on line soon, but if you haven't noticed, asparagus is now available year-round. Today, some 90 percent of the asparagus eaten in the states is grown in Mexico and brought to a supermarket near you thanks to NAFTA. Just another example of big government working for us, the people. Be patriotic, make one of these interesting salads.

Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium stainless bowl. Whisk again just before serving. Yields 2/3 cup.

Wash, peel and blanch the asparagus in salted water. When it just turns tender and changes color, remove it and plunge it into an ice water bath for 30 seconds to shock it. Remove the asparagus while it’s still slightly warm and drain it on paper towels. Place the asparagus into a medium stainless bowl, add the Sesame Vinaigrette to taste, and toss lightly with your hands. Place the asparagus in the refrigerator for an hour or so to marinate. When ready for service, divide the asparagus between four chilled salad plates and arrange the spears attractively. Drizzle each salad with a tiny bit of sesame oil. Add orange zest curls and cracked black pepper as a garnish. You may tie the asparagus spears in a bundle with a piece of scallion for a more elegant presentation. Serves 4

Whisk the lemon juice, salt, sugar and mustard in a small stainless bowl. Add the egg yolk and whisk until well combined. Drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Add the white pepper to taste and refrigerate until service.

Toss the asparagus, mushrooms, cheese and red onion with some of the Lemon Vinaigrette to taste. Add the parsley and salt and pepper and toss again lightly. Divide the salad evenly between 6 attractive plates.

Serves 6

Connecticut Media Group