Chopped Asparagus Salad

Make my Chopped Asparagus Salad recipe when the spring asparagus is plentiful and cheap, and you’re craving a bit of fresh crunch in your life after a long winter.  This cold asparagus salad becomes a complete meal with a few well chosen add ins like tuna and hard cooked egg, or turn it into an asparagus pasta salad ~ it’s up to you!



Ingredients
1/2 pound trimmed asparagus (asparagus that has already had the lower 1/3 cut off)
15 ounce can chickpeas (or other bean) well rinsed and drained
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
5 radishes, trimmed and cut into wedges or chunks
1 Persian cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup cherry tomato halves (cut in wedges if they are larger)
1/2 cup colorful bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup black olives
1/4 cup roasted red peppers (from a jar) chopped
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

garnish
fresh thyme

dressing
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup champagne vinegar (or your favorite)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp dried thyme
pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions
First I blanch the asparagus ever so briefly to take the raw edge off. I bring a pan of water to a boil, plunge the asparagus in, and remove it in exactly 60 seconds. Set the timer and don't leave it in the water any longer than that. (The only exception is if your asparagus stalks are very thick.) Rinse in cold water, or drop the asparagus into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve the color. Once completely cold, dry on a clean towel. Slice the stalks into 2 inch pieces, on the diagonal.
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