It takes about 20 minutes to make, including prep time. One taste, and you’ll be hooked as much as I was.
Shaved asparagus salad, with Cara Cara oranges and roasted shallots
This recipe serves two, so you may have to adjust proportions if you’re faced with a gaggle of hungry eaters.
You’ll want thick asparagus stalks, say about 1/4″ in diameter, or thicker. Part of the appeal of this salad is the textural contrast between the thin slivers of asparagus, the chunks of orange and the whole roasted shallots, as well as the intermarriage of sweet and tart. Although you can shave the asparagus with a sharp knife or a mandoline, you’ll achieve more consistent and better results with a vegetable peeler.
7 asparagus stalks, about 1/4″ in diameter or thicker (if possible)
1 Cara Cara orange, peeled and white inner pith removed, then cut into chunks
6 large shallots, peeled and trimmed
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon orange blossom honey — optional
freshly milled black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chives, minced
In a small bowl, combine shallots, 1 tablespoon olive oil, the sherry vinegar and a small pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir to ensure that the shallots are well-coated with the vinaigrette. Transfer to a Pyrex baking dish or roasting pan and roast for 10 minutes at 375 F or until the shallots are slightly charred on one side and softened. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.
Meanwhile, trim off 1/2″ from the asparagus stalks. Collect the ends and reserve for another use, such as asparagus stock. Trim off the tips, then slice them along a bias. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus stalks into strips. Place the asparagus strips and sliced tips into a large bowl. Add the orange chunks.
Whisk together the remaining olive oil, white wine vinegar and honey (if using). If you substitute another sweetener such as agave nectar or orange juice, this dish becomes vegan. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in chives.
To assemble: Drizzle two tablespoons of dressing onto the asparagus mixture. Mix well. Mound asparagus and orange attractively on salad plates. Top each serving with a few roasted shallots. Serve at once.
Time: About 20 minutes, including prep.