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Asparagus Salad with Peas and Toasted Almonds

by in May 2007

Total Time: 20

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches asparagus, washed and cut into 5-inch pieces (tough bottoms discarded)
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄3 cup whole almonds
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • About 10 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

Instructions:

In a large bowl, combine 3 cups very cold water with 1 dozen ice cubes. In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups well-salted water to a boil; add asparagus. Return water to a boil and blanch asparagus 5 minutes (8 to 10 minutes if using thick spears). Remove asparagus with tongs (reserving water in pan) and place in ice water 1 minute; remove from water, dry, and set aside. Bring cooking water back to a boil and blanch peas about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in ice water 1 minute. Strain and dry well; set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté shallot in olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove shallot to a small bowl and set aside. Add almonds to hot oil and toast 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, being careful not to burn. Add almonds to shallot and mix in lemon zest, juice, peas, and mint leaves.

Arrange asparagus spears on a serving platter (or divided among six salad plates). Season pea and almond mixture with salt and pepper, then spoon over asparagus. Garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Updated Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007
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