I am trying my best to keep a positive outlook, but it isn’t always easy as the Covid numbers here in Michigan are surging this week. My mother always told us that if you have a bad day, get a good night’s sleep and start the next day fresh. Tomorrow is always a new day, she’d say. On the positive side, I’m now fully vaccinated, which is very reassuring, but now I am hearing reports that even some fully vaccinated folks are still getting ill with one of the new variants. We are however having a great weather week with sunshine and very warm temperatures here in Michigan after a cold spell last week with snow flurries. Sunshine always makes me feel better, and the warm weather encourages me to get outside and start spring cleanup, especially around my chicken coop. I find that fresh air always improves my spirits.
I am sad though that we haven’t been able to get back to Italy for over eighteen months. We have spent spring in Italy for the past thirteen years, but this year we both just felt it wasn’t safe to travel that far without being fully vaccinated. We are now both vaccinated, but Italy is now under yet another lockdown. Hopefully, we’ll get back to Italy this fall in time to harvest our olives. Each spring we spend in Italy, I gorge myself on a variety of fresh artichokes, tiny sweet peas, tender, thin asparagus spears, and fresh fava beans. Here in Michigan, artichokes are hard to find and very expensive, so I enjoy the spring vegetables we can buy locally, such as peas and asparagus. I have been buying a couple of bunches of asparagus every week to use in everything from risotto to soup.
This asparagus salad is so easy to assemble, and the flavor combination is delicious. It is essential to cook your asparagus just until it is tender yet still crisp, and put it immediately into an ice bath to stop the cooking process and keep it bright green. Cherry tomatoes are available year-round but do try and choose fully ripe ones. Choose a medium sharp Gorgonzola cheese, not a sweet, creamy one which is best for sauces, or an overly “picante” one. This salad combines asparagus, tomatoes, slivered red onions, and Gorgonzola cheese crumbles. The salad is dressed in a red wine vinegar dressing which finishes the dish off perfectly. Sprinkle on some lightly toasted almond slices just before serving, and whether you serve it at room temperature or cold, this is a salad that will get lots of compliments.
Deborah Mele 2021
- 1 1/2 Pounds Fresh Asparagus, Trimmed & Cut Diagonally Into 2-inch Pieces
- 1 Pint Ripe Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
- 1 Small Red Onion, Peeled, & Cut Into Slivers
- 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 Cup Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles
- 1/3 Cup Lightly Toasted Almond Slices
- In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil.
- Cook the asparagus until tender crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Drain and place asparagus in a bowl of ice water.
- Drain asparagus and pat dry.
- Place asparagus, tomatoes, and onions in a bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until blended.
- Pour the dressing over the asparagus, then toss to mix.
- Arrange the asparagus on a platter or in a serving bowl, then sprinkle with the crumbled cheese and almond slices.
- Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 288mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 6gSugar: 10gProtein: 10g