Amongst our favorite reappearances at the farmer’s market each spring are the happy, vibrant bunches of perfect asparagus lining the stands. Making sure you get the best bunch simply involves a few rules of thumb when choosing:
• Pick out a bunch that is firm, plump and straight.
• Make sure the stalks are a nice, bright green.
• Check that all the tips are intact to get the most bang for your buck.
• Avoid ugly, wilting or blemished stalks.
Other than that, thickness or thinness of the stalks is a matter of taste and what you need for your recipe. For this delicious, healthy salad shared with us by Tina Fanelli Moraccini from her latest Piccolo Chef cookbook, you could go either way. The result will be a fresh, bright salad-–and we think it makes the perfect Easter brunch side dish too!
Asparagus Salad with Grapefruit
1/2 pound asparagus
1/2 orange, peeled and sectioned
1/2 ruby red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon wildflower honey
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
salt and pepper
Wash asparagus and snap off tough ends.
Cook (boil or steam) asparagus until tender but still firm. Cut each spear in half lengthwise and then into 2 long strips.
Toss the asparagus, orange, grapefruit, tarragon, and onion in a bowl.
Add the honey and vinegar, toss to coat. Season with additional vinegar if desired and salt and pepper.