green-white-red: asparagus-parmesan-tomato mix

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April, May & June: it’s asparagus season (let’s say… from mid/end of April until mid of June…)! Next to the classic asparagus approaches there’s the unique opportunity to create a delicious asparagus salad during this limited time slot.

 

 
My better half & I, we love green asparagus!

Each spring we’re longing for the first fresh asparagus & during the next weeks we indulge in its tasty flavour, its crispy stalks & tender heads almost melting in your mouth.

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We like asparagus the classic way for lunch or dinner: asparagus boiled only some minutes (attention: don’t overcook!) accompanied by fresh potatoes, hollandaise sauce & tender ham. Sometimes we also do the roasted version in the oven: asparagus sprinkled with olive oil, salt & pepper, maybe some cherry tomatoes strewn around, Mediterranean herbs…

Today, however, I’d like to present a fresh asparagus salad with tomatoes & parmesan cheese…

We don’t need need too many ingredients:

  • (of course) green asparagus
  • ripe & red cherry or plum tomatoes (I had plum tomatoes!)
  • shaved parmesan cheese
  • spring onions
  • some fresh Mediterranean herbs… – like basil (not included in the photo, but appearing soon).

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Trimming green asparagus is quite easy: take an asparagus stalk, grip the end & break it off. The end is firm, woody, fibrous… you shouldn’t eat it: it definitely spoils the meal. You realize rather soon that there is some sort of natural breaking point at about ¼ of the stalk from the end. (The photo above shows  un-trimmed as well as trimmed asparagus.) Just discard the broken ends. Good news: the remaining asparagus stalk is ready for consumption i. e. further preparation – no more waste for the compost pile.

For the record:
There’s also WHITE asparagus. When dealing with white asparagus you’ll definitely have to peel each asparagus stalk… My recommendation: leave this to chefs in restaurants!

Next step: cut off generously the asparagus heads & leave them for later. The rest of the stalks should be cut into bits of about 2 cm.

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The spring onions have to be chopped. Now the before-cooking-preparation-phase is finished.

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In a pan heat some olive oil & fry the spring onions & the asparagus bits for about 10-15 min.

In the meantime chop the tomatoes, wrap the mess in kitchen roll paper & press & squeeze & crush with your hands above the sink: lots of liquid will ooze out… lots of the pits will also stick to the paper when unwrapping… It’s just fine: for the asparagus salad we’ll need the tomatoes, but not too much liquid or jelly or pits.

(It looks really a little unsavory…)

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Start mixing the vinaigrette composed of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sweet mustard & salt & pepper.

Add fresh basil to the prepared tomatoes.

Rescue the asparagus bits from the pan & put the asparagus heads in the pan instead. (Asparagus heads are rather soft: it’s better to fry them separately instead of tossing them around with rest – the asparagus heads will become rather crispy after being fried for about 10-15 min. Nevertheless: if you run out of time just put all the asparagus into the pan altogether.)

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Now start mixing & finish with the parmesan cheese.

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The asparagus heads – of course – are spread on top.
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green-white-red: asparagus-parmesan-tomato mix

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 2-4

green-white-red: asparagus-parmesan-tomato mix

April, May & June: it's asparagus season (let's say... from mid/end of April until mid of June...)! Next to the classic asparagus approaches there's the unique opportunity to create a delicious asparagus salad during this limited time slot.

Ingredients

  • 500 gr green asparagus (before trimming)
  • 3 spring onions
  • about 8 small plum tomatoes (or about 12 small cherry tomatoes) - about 125 gr
  • about 3-4 basil leaves
  • 50 gr shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (for frying)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for vinaigrette)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sweet mustard
  • salt & pepper

How to...

  1. Trim the asparagus by breaking off the ends of the stalks.
  2. Cut off the asparagus heads & leave for later.
  3. Cut the asparagus stalks into bits of about 2 cm length.
  4. Chop the spring onions.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a pan, heat it & add the spring onions & the asparagus bits.
  6. Add salt & pepper.
  7. Fry for about 10-15 min: the asparagus should be cooked, but not too soft.
  8. In the meantime chop the tomatoes, wrap in kitchen roll paper & squeeze them - get rid of the liquid, the jelly & most of the pits.
  9. Chop the basil leaves.
  10. Whisk the remaining olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, the sweet mustard & salt & pepper into a vinaigrette.
  11. Remove the asparagus from the pan & let it cool.
  12. Put the asparagus heads in the pan & fry them for about 10-15 min until crispy.
  13. Mix the asparagus bits, the tomatoes, the basil & the vinaigrette.
  14. Add the shaved parmesan cheese & mix.
  15. Add the asparagus heads.

Notes

Salt: I used my mix from salt & dried Mediterranean herbs for the salad. The herbal touch fits to the fresh basil.

Tomatoes: If you like you may use some more tomatoes, but don't overdo - it's an asparagus salad, not a tomato salad!

Asparagus heads: as mentioned before you can reduce frying time by mixing bits & heads together.

Serving size: It's a small side salad for 4 persons... a "real" salad for 2... & a "full" lunch or dinner for 1!

You can enjoy the asparagus salad at once (still warm!) or leave it in the fridge for at least 1-2 days.

https://thebusinesswomanskitchen.de/green-white-red-asparagus-parmesan-tomato/

 

You’ll optimize the overall flavour when mixing all ingredients of the salad as long as the asparagus is still “warm”. You can eat it at once accompanied by some fresh baguette…. simply delicious.

I strongly recommend shaved parmesan instead of grated parmesan because grated parmesan tends to thicken the vinaigrette (in other words: it’s getting sticky & chewy!).

 

The Businesswoman with too many office hours thinks

Great – I can prepare the salad in advance although a warm salad sounds yummy. Well, when frying all the asparagus at one time – maybe the heads fall apart a little – I could manage to prepare the salad in 20 min or so.

 

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