April 14, 2011

Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Feta

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In keeping with the healthy menu and having such beautifully bold colors appearing in the produce isle I had to jump into one of my favorite veggie dishes for a spring dinner this week. Now, the weather has been playing games on us here in Connecticut lately, pulling between the rainy cold days of April and then sprinkling in patches and random days of warm weather and sunshine. Well today the sun was shining and it put me right in the mood for the seasons fresh vegetables.

For some reason the asparagus has been tasting wonderful this year and I dont know if it was all the rain but they just have such a soft and crunchy consistancy to them that I have been cooking as many meals as I can with asparagus so here goes another. I normally make this dish on the grill to give the veggies that nice smoked taste with beautiful grill marks but being that we ran out of propane it was on the plan two for dinner. I decided to blanch the asparagus which is actually my prefered meathod when it comes to eating healthy because all the vitamins and minerals stay right there in the veggie while keeping the bost green coloring of the stalk.

I also took my mini heirloom tomatoes and tossed them just as I had done in my Roasted Broccoli and Feta Salad but I wanted to add crusted bread to create somewhat of a panchetta over my asparagus which gives it a heartier taste with some crunch. The way this salad presents itself just looks so fresh and inviting I am not sure who wouldn't want to delv in. It's like seeing those chocolate fruit-covered edible arrangements. You're sure of what it tastes like but the display and visual apeal of the bright fruity colors just begs you to pick one out of the pot... at least that's how I feel when this dish is complete. It's a great springtime dish that invited attention to the dinner table and to your mouth. This was a large serving I made and it only made it till lunch the following day between the two of us.

Quick to throw together, festive for the table and fabulous to taste.  A new fresh way to get your kids to scarf up their veggies... little and big kids alike!

Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Feta
Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeno

1 tbs. dijon mustard
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
1-1/2 c asparagus
1 pint mini heirloom tomatoes
1 lg slice country-style bread, cubed
1 shallot, minced 
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 c feta cheese
2 tbs fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring a lg pot of water on the stove to boil. 
Wash the asparagus and trim the dried or hard ends off the bottom of the spears.
When the water comes to a boil, dump the spears in the pot and let them sit for 4-6 minutes. Pull out a spear and test it after a couple minutes. When they are crisp-tender pour out the water arrange on a platter and salt lightly. 

In a small bowl whisk the mustard, vinegar salt and pepper. slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until it is emulsified.

Toss the tomatoes and bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. place the cherry tomatoes and bread cubes onto a rimmed sheet tray and Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and the bread cubes are lightly golden brown. 

Arrange asparagus on a platter and top with the tomatoes, croutons, feta and chives. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette.

Crunchy, bright, and flavorful, this is great as a side dish or a nice light lunch.


1 comment:

Becky said...

Yum! It's almost like a panzanella!