Lemony Asparagus and Spring Pea Salad with Roasted Almonds
Yield: 6 servings
A refreshing and nutritious salad of spring vegetables.
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- 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup shallots, minced
- 1/3 cup whole almonds
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 pound asparagus, washed and tough bottom ends trimmed and discarded
- 3/4 cup shelled fresh peas
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 3 sprigs fresh mint, leaves removed and saved
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Garnish: 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
In a medium skillet, warm 1/3 cup oil over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Scrape shallots and oil from pan into a small bowl and set aside. Add 3 tablespoons oil to same pan over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering, add almonds and toast 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently until lightly browned. Add almonds to shallot mixture. Stir in lemon juice and set aside.
Prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and return water to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Remove asparagus with tongs (reserving water in pan) and place in ice-water bath. Return reserved water to a boil and blanch peas 3 minutes or until soft. Drain in a colander and refresh under cold running water. Add peas to almond mixture. Drain asparagus in colander and pat dry with a paper towel.
Arrange asparagus spears on serving platter with tips all facing the same direction. Add lemon zest and mint leaves to almond and pea mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Liberally spoon over asparagus and garnish with cheese shavings.