April 4, 2010

Zesty Marinated Asparagus

Our Grandma is pretty much the best chef we know. She has her own library of cookbooks in her office... there's always something new to try at a family dinner. Sometimes others will help out with appetizers or a shrimp ring, but other than that she cooks the entire meal (often with options for dessert) on her own.
This year, when she asked for a few contributions to Easter dinner, we were more than happy to help! Our family was in charge of vegetables. The carrot souffle was a hit at our house, so we brought that along (yes, it looks strange, but our skeptical uncle was quickly convinced of its yum-factor). We also tried something nice and spring-like: asparagus served cold, with a balsamic vinaigrette.
So, here's the first of (many) Easter recipes... this was quite a weekend for the Spatula Sisters!

Zesty Marinated Asparagus - from AllRecipes (with a few small changes)
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing ** (recipe follows)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Trim ends off of asparagus (it's easiest to do this by snapping them by hand at their natural breaking point)
  • Bring large pot of water to a boil. Blanch asparagus until just tender - about 2 minutes. Transfer asparagus into a bowl of cold water to cool. Drain and place in ziploc bag. Pour in vinaigrette and close bag.
  • Refrigerate at least 3 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Drain asparagus and arrange on platter. Sprinkle with lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
Balsamic Vinaigrette - adapted from Canadian Living
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Add all ingredients into tupperware container. Put lid on and shake vigorously.
Asparagus is available year-round,
but springtime is the best season for the vegetable.
Ready to blanch.
Oil, vinegar, and a few spices.
All shook up!
Ready for Easter dinner!

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