Sweet and Sour Asparagus Salad

Asparagus isn’t everyone’s favorite. Unless you’re serving it to die-hard enthusiasts, it should be prepared with care. However, converting non-asparagus eaters to fans is a gratifying endeavor when it succeeds. My kids will eat it if I prepare it correctly – previously in a very fatty version, which they loved. Tonight I’m trying a cold, soy-saucey version (tamari is a Hogaboom Achilles heel).

1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

Slice the asparagus diagonally into 2-inch lengths, keeping the tip and the stems separate.

Combine the soy sauce, oil, vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Stir over moderate heat just till the sugar dissolves. There will be a small amount of sauce. Set aside.

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in the stems and cook 1 minute. Add the tops and cook 1 minute more. Drain and under cold water.
Put the asparagus in a bowl, add the soy mixture, and toss.

Serve cold or at room temperature on lettuce leaves.

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