Sunday, May 15, 2011

Asparagus and Potato Salad, with Lemon-Mint Dressing

At times, I have to confess our approach to seasonal eating is, honestly, a bit excessive. Or, obsessive. Each year, during the tiny window that a few certain vegetables and fruits are available, we buy a lot of them. I served my kid eight different vegetable dishes tonight. Eight. She tried all but one, liked most, and devoured two huge artichokes by herself. Then, she picked up the bowl of lemon-mint vinaigrette, and drank the last of it.

I figure table manners can wait. We're just working on Food Appreciation 101. And the dressing is that good. I used it for the dip for the artichokes, mixed it with Greek yogurt and lemon balm to top roasted beets, tossed some with fresh fava beans sauteed with garlic, and I used it on this salad. Which is a whole meal on it's own. Unless you make seven other vegetable dishes. For some reason.

Do use the extra bit of dressing you have here as a dip for the leaves of steamed artichoke. Mint and artichokes pair like bread and butter. Unbelievably good.

We got blue potatoes, asparagus and fresh greens at the farmers market. I always know when things are in season at the same time, they will be great together.

Asparagus and Potato Salad with Lemon-Mint Dressing

For the dressing:
Juice and zest of three lemons
1 tbs. dijon mustard
1 tbs honey
2 tbs. white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup walnut or almond oil
3 tbs. chopped mint
kosher salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:
2 cups greens, divided for four plates (spring mix, or green and red leaf)
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 lb. of asparagus
1 lb. new potatoes (I love the blue ones for this)
Feta cheese, optional, but lovely
Coarse finishing salt, black pepper to taste

Wash and boil the potatoes, skin on, until tender. Remove from water, and chill for two hours. Blanch the asparagus for three minutes and shock in ice water to stop the cooking and set the color.

Whisk the dressing together. Chop the hard-boiled egg. Assemble each of the four plates with greens, two potatoes sliced lengthwise, 1/4 of the asparagus, 1/4 of the egg. Drizzle with the lemon-mint dressing. Finish with coarse sea salt and black pepper if desired. Sprinkle on 1 tbs. of feta.

Makes four salads.