We have a lot of parties in the spring time. Both boys have their birthdays and so do I. I'm always on the lookout for great new dishes to make for friends and family - ideally cold, ideally something that can easily be part of a spread. For one of Dante's parties, we tried this cold asparagus salad topped with a tangy dressing, feta salad and crunchy pistachios. Definitely a success!
Next time, I'll use all green asparagus, as that is my favorite, and I'll grill it in a very hot pan rather than boiling it.
Asparagus salad with Feta & Pistachios
250 g green asparagus
500 g white asparagus
handful of pea shoots
70 g feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp pistachio slivers
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tsp sherry vinegar
salt, black pepper
The green asparagus doesn't need peeling, so just snap off the woody ends. They'll automatically break where they're supposed to. The white ones should be peeled, so start just below the tip and gently peel with a potato peeler. Snap off the woody ends.
Fill a wide pan with water, and add the lemon juice and olive oil and bring to a boil. Add the 2 tsp salt. Simmer the white asparagus for ten minutes. Add the green stalks and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Let dry on kitchen towels.
On a large platter, arrange the asparagus and pea shoots, crumble over the cheese and sprinkle with pistachios. Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and drizzle over the salad just before serving.