How many children have gagged over boiled asparagus? What were we thinking, leeching all color and flavor from the earthy spears, leaving a mushy gushy slimy mess? Ish, no wonder.
So please, stick with me here, I really truly want to sell you on this little salad which I completely adore. These asparagus are not boiled – nosiree, they are poached. What's the difference? Marketing, people, vegetable marketing.
WORD DANCERS And one more thing. The asparagus are poached with – no turning up your nose, please! – scallions. Yes, other people call those little gems green onions, but me, I'm sticking to scallions if only for the linguistic loveliness of the sibilant alliteration of asparagus scallion salad.
Am I losing you? Then let me pull out a little asparagus capital. There are dozens of asparagus recipes on A Veggie Venture and this little salad makes the Top Five. Still don't believe me? Then believe Heidi from 101 Cookbooks who paired asparagus, green onion and farro in this gorgeous vegetarian supper.
Spring sunshine in a spoon. That's what this is.
ASPARAGUS SCALLION SALAD
Time to table: 1 hour
Water to cover for poaching
1 pound fresh asparagus
2 big bunches scallions (about a half pound)
1 tablespoon good red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon good olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 hard-cooked egg, see Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs, chopped
Bring the water to a boil in a vessel as long as the asparagus.
Wash the asparagus, paying special attention to the tips which can be gritty. With a vegetable peeler, peel shave off the skin from the bottom 3 inches of each stalk (this helps them cook evenly). Snap off the ends, they'll break naturally at the right point. (Huh what? Here's a quick video showing exactly how to snap off the woody ends.)
Wash the scallions. Slice off the roots and any wilted leaves, also any loose layers around the bulb.
Drop the asparagus and scallions into the boiling water, leave uncovered and let boil – I mean, poach – for about 6 minutes. Lift out of the water and rinse under cold water in a colander. Cut into pieces about one-inch long.
In a bowl, gently toss the poached pieces with the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
ALANNA'S TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
Save the asparagus ends to make Asparagus Soup. I collect them in the freezer until there are enough.
I'd recommend medium-to-fat spears of asparagus and green onions for this recipe. If you have fat asparagus but skinny green onions, consider pulling the green onions out first. You definitely don't want the green onions to get mushy.
To my taste, the egg is optional but it does add good texture contrast and protein.
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MORE FAVORITE ASPARAGUS RECIPES~ Six Years of Favorite Asparagus Recipes ~
~ Quick Pickled Asparagus ~
~ Gorgeous Raw Asparagus Salad ~
~ Slow-Roasted Asparagus ~
~ Spring Garden Vegetable Soup with Asparagus, Artichokes, Peas & Spinach ~
~ more asparagus recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Roasted Salmon & Asparagus ~
~ Easy-to-Elegant Asparagus Soup ~
~ Asparagus Custard Tart ~
~ more asparagus recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column