Friday, March 29, 2013

Asparagus Slaw

Still working on leftovers.  The kale salad is lasting longer than I expected, and has served as lunch for most of the week.  I finished off the gefilte fish, charoset, and hard-boiled eggs Wednesday, then a batch of my crunchy tuna salad.  For some reason, I always make tuna salad during Passover.  I used some of my cilantro from the herb pot instead of buying a bunch that goes half-unused, which was the point of growing it in the first place.  When in the mood for a fancy breakfast, I've been doing the Chocolate-banana matzoh brei.  My Passover cooking isn't always this boring, but I had a cancellation for the Seder.  It happens when the holiday is on a weekday and the guests live far away.

Finally, I needed a vegetable side to accompany my meal.  My first head of broccoli is almost ready to harvest, but not quite.  Apparently, I have to be careful not to let it bloom before it is picked.  It never occurred to me that all those little green things are flower buds.  I am such a lousy gardener.  Meanwhile, asparagus is at its cheapest prices of the year, and I've never had asparagus slaw.  I wasn't even sure it existed until I googled it.  As usual, only a few hundred recipes popped up.  The most popular were Asian-sesame themed, but I keep kitnyot and am not eating soy or sesame this week.  I'm going to do a cabbage-style dressing minus the mustard (also kitnyot).  For those who think horseradish can be too overpowering, feel free to use half as much.  It definitely gives the salad a kick.

I have become a huge fan of shallots.  I only started using them a couple of years ago, because they seemed too frou-frou.  What I have learned is that they have a taste like red onions, but the texture is much softer and more subtle.  They are a good idea when you would like to use onion in something, but are afraid it might overpower the other ingredients.

1 lb asparagus
1 medium carrot
1 small shallot
1/2 C mayonnaise
3 Tb vinegar (white wine or apple cider)
*1 tsp horseradish
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
milk as needed

1.  Peel off any tough skin from the asparagus, snap off the hard bottom ends, and discard the pieces.  Either slice the stalks thinly into coins or use a mandoline to slice on a bias.  Cut the tips in half lengthwise and put all the pieces into a sieve over the sink.  Boil several cups of water and slowly pour over the asparagus pieces. Let sit one minute, then rinse with cold water.  This will blanch the asparagus just slightly, not as much as putting the stalks in the boiling water.  You get the bright green color without actually cooking them.

2.  Peel the carrot.  Either run it through the mandoline, grate it, or do julienne slices.  Peel and dice the shallot.  Place all vegetables in mixing bowl.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients to make the dressing.  If it is too thick for your taste, add some milk, a tablespoon at a time.  Pour over vegetables and toss to coat.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Serves 6

Difficulty rating :)

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