My beautiful daughter is coming to visit tomorrow and I wanted to create something fresh and delicious to celebrate our get together, which will be the first time we have seen each other since the changing of the seasons to Spring. We plan to drop in to Floriade in the morning and then back to my place for a bite to eat. With new season strawberries and asparagus in plentiful supply, this simple dish of asparagus and strawberries as a salad looks special, tastes exquisite, and fits the bill perfectly for our Sunday luncheon.
New season strawberries are delicious and in plentiful supply... as is asparagus...
Look for bright, firm spears with closed compact tips...
ASPARAGUS WITH STRAWBERRIES ... AS A SALAD
350g baby asparagus
Wash the asparagus and gently pat the spears dry with paper towelling, trim the ends only if needed (snap off with your fingers). Wash the strawberries, pat them dry with paper towelling, then remove the hulls and slice the fruit into small segments.
To cook the asparagus, place it into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and remove from the stove as soon as the water is simmering. Drain immediately and refresh with cold water (to stop the cooking and keep the spears vibrant green).
Arrange the asparagus on serving plates, scatter the strawberry segments over the top. Dress and serve immediately. Serves two as a light lunch or side.
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar*
2 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
Combine the ingredients for the dressing, whisk together and pour over the asparagus and strawberries just before serving.
*Use strawberry or other fruit vinegar if that's what you have at hand. Champagne, wine and strawberry vinegar is also quite lovely.
+My recipe was inspired by a dish in Cooking with Asparagus by Lena Raab (Du Monte 2001).
The process in pictures...
Arrange on serving plates...
Dress, serve and enjoy...
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A note of thanks to Australian Asparagus, who delivered some asparagus fresh to my front door yesterday. I'm told that this season's asparagus may not look as bright green as usual due to the cold conditions in early Spring. Also, the strong winds we've been experiencing lately may cause minute particles of sand or grit to cause tiny wounds in the delicate skin of the spears. However, this won't affect the fresh, nutty flavour. Make sure you pop some into your market basket next time you go shopping.
Tell me, do you love asparagus and strawberries as much as I do? What's your favourite way of preparing them?
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.