Asparagus, Cherry Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

This month has been unseasonable warm here in Umbria, and we have been regularly getting temperatures in the 90′s for weeks. When it is this warm, I find it difficult to spend too much time in the kitchen, and usually prefer to grill outdoors, or to do much of my meal preparation in the morning before the day gets too hot. I love vegetable salads in the summer on very warm days as they are not too heavy, and yet are very satisfying.

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I spied bunches of fresh asparagus on sale and bought a couple. We grilled one bunch for dinner that day, and then the next day I decided to blanch the rest and use it in a salad with cherry tomatoes. I love summer salads like this one that use seasonal fresh ingredients and have interesting texture. The addition of the mozzarella really makes this a hearty salad that would be a great entree for dinner on a very warm summer day. I always choose buffalo mozzarella as I find it softer and creamier than regular mozzarella, but if it isn’t available in your area, simple choose the best fresh mozzarella you can find.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011


Asparagus, Cherry Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 5 mins

A satisfying complete meal in a bowl that is perfect for the warmer days of summer.

Ingredients:

1 Bunch Asparagus, Trimmed & Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces
3 Cups Mesclun Salad Mix
2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onions
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Sea Salt & Pepper
2 Balls Fresh Mozzarella (1 Pound Total)

Directions:

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook asparagus for 4-5 minutes until tender crisp.
Drain, and place the asparagus in ice water.
Place mesclun mix over the bottom of four bowls.
Mix vinegar, oil, mustard and salt together and set aside.
Drain & dry the asparagus, and then mix together the asparagus, tomatoes, and green onion.
Pour the dressing over the asparagus and toss.
Spoon the asparagus and tomato mixture over the greens, spooning any extra dressing on top of the salads.
Slice the mozzarella and arrange on top of the salads.



 

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