Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Asparagus Salad with Toasted Almonds and Goat Cheese

Last night I got to see my favorite band of all time, The Smashing Pumpkins.  When I was younger and they were on their Infinite Sadness tour one of the band mates overdose on tour and died so the show they were suppose to play in Portland was canceled and I was heartbroken.  The band then proceeded to have a music career but it just wasn't as awesome as before and they eventually broke up.  Then come 2016 two of the original members including the main singer songwriter Billy Corgan decided to reunite and go on tour.  At first of course I was skeptical thinking to myself it just won't be the same...but boy was I surprised!  Their performance was so awesome that it brought me to tears several different times, it also reminded me of a time in my life as a youth that was hard. If you get a chance to catch them on this tour definitely do it.  Also I keep forgetting to write about my experience at Accanto at Portland Dining Month, so I promise next post I will get to it.  A couple weeks ago my friend Rebecca came over and we caught up on life and made this amazing salad from The Food Lab and paired it with a pan seared rib-eye and red wine pan sauce which I will blog about next time.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 medium shallot, finely sliced (about 1/4 cup)
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup red wine olive oil vinaigrette, vigorously shaken (recipe below)
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

(makes 1/2 cup)
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon Dijon
1 medium clove of garlic, grated
1 small shallot finely minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 fresh ground pepper

The Process:
1.  For salad dressing combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add asparagus and cook until bright green and tender but still with a bit of a bite, about 3 minutes.  Drain in a colander and run under cold water until cool.  Drain and dry in a salad spinner.

3.  Transfer the asparagus to a large serving bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Add the almonds, shallots and half of the salad dressing and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve immediately, passing extra dressing at table.

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