Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Asian Asparagus Salad with Walnuts

IMGP5572

I can't believe Memorial Day is almost here... with that comes the start of BBQ season! If you haven't already caught on, I've been looking forward to this day for a long time.

I absolutely love BBQ's.  The variations of pasta salads, potato salads, coleslaws, and fresh veggies you can come up with are endless providing a vast supply of deliciousness to enjoy all summer long!

This Asian Asparagus Salad with Walnuts is a salad my Ciocia Ella has made for many occasions.  It's a recipe she borrowed from her good friend, Ann, and has become one of our family favorites. We all agree it's the marinade that makes this dish.

While this side dish may appear deceivingly simple, don't be fooled by it's appearance.  When you bite into your asparagus you'll enjoy a mouth full of Asian inspired flavor!  Smoky, salty, and subtly sweet- it's a dish your guests will love.

It's a perfect BBQ item to add to your spread of salads served cold and prepared the night before.  It's the perfect party dish that allows you to be a guest at your own party- a hassle free side that takes minutes to prepare!


Recipe Tips
  • If you're planning on using this recipe for a BBQ or picnic, use two large bunches of asparagus and double the marinade.


Begin with washing your asparagus:

IMGP5447

And breaking the tough ends. Do this by bending your asparagus towards the bottom and letting it break where it naturally wants to, about 3/4 down the asparagus:

IMGP5451

Then roughly chop your walnuts into large pieces:

IMGP5471

In a large mixing bowl, combine your balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil and stir until the sugar dissolves:

IMGP5475

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil:

IMGP5487

Add your asparagus and let it cook for 3-4 minutes or until just barely tender:

IMGP5494

Once cooked, transfer your asparagus to a large bowl of ice water.  This process shocks your asparagus and stops it from continuing to cook.  You want your asparagus to have a nice fresh bite to it without being soft and overcooked:

IMGP5497

Then cut your asparagus at an angle into 2 inch pieces:

IMGP5509

Thoroughly dry your asparagus with a paper towel:

IMGP5515

Add your asparagus to the vinaigrette:

IMGP5522


Add your chopped walnuts and mix until coated.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight:

IMGP5549


Transfer to a serving dish and serve!

IMGP5572

Asian Asparagus Salad with Walnuts
Family Recipe Courtesy of Ann Larson
Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 minutes
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil

Directions
Begin with washing your asparagus and breaking the tough ends. Do this by bending your asparagus towards the bottom and letting it break where it naturally wants to, about 3/4 down the asparagus.  In a large mixing bowl, combine your balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add your asparagus and let it cook for 3-4 minutes or until just barely tender.  Once cooked, transfer your asparagus to a large bowl of ice water.  This process shocks your asparagus and stops it from continuing to cook.  You want your asparagus to have a nice bite to it without being soft and overcooked.  Cut your asparagus at an angle into 2 inch pieces.  Thoroughly dry your asparagus with a paper towel.  Add your asparagus and chopped walnuts to your bowl and mix until thoroughly coated with the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.  Then transfer to a serving dish and serve!

StumbleUpon

8 comments:

  1. That is a gorgeous salad! I really love the combination of the asparagus and the walnuts. That is fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this beautiful dish!!! Great flavors and fresh colors.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love asparagus and am always looking for a new way to cook it. This looks great.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This dish looks so beautiful! I love the great flavors too. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks so good and perfectly seasonal! Trying very soon

    ReplyDelete
  6. Really easy, tasty and a great presentataion.

    ReplyDelete
  7. YES! BBQ season! :D... I love the vibrant colors in this salad! YUM!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Perfect Spring side dish...so wonderful and packed with flavor!

    ReplyDelete