Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Salad with Beets, Asparagus, Corn, and Almonds

Whenever I make a salad, I try to put a bunch of pretty colors together because I eat with my eyes first.  Then I put together the different textures and make sure that I have savory and sweet components in the salad.  The prep work is a little time consuming for this salad but I put all the leftover veggies in the fridge for several future salads, snacks, or sides and I pack salads for lunch. I also always make my own salad dressings and vinaigrettes because it is just so easy.  Taste as you go.  The vinaigrette recipe is a guideline so if you want to add more honey or vinegar, go for it.  I always eyeball it anyway. 
Salad Recipe 

Boil medium pot of water with a sprinkle of sea salt
Prepare ice bath (this is just ice and water in a bowl) for blanching the veggies

Trim a bunch of asparagus from the woody stems and rinse in water
Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes
Shock asparagus in ice bath 'til cold
Cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces

Husk 1 to 2 corn on the cobs and rinse in water
Blanch corn in boiling water for 3 minutes
Shock corn in ice bath 'til cold
Cut kernels off of cob

Peel 1 to 2 medium beets (about the size of oranges) and cut in quarters
Boil beets for roughly 20 minutes or until a fork goes smoothly through it
Shock beets in ice bath 'til cold (normally you do not shock beets in an ice bath but I do this to bring beets to room temperature)
Cut into slices

Add vinaigrette (see below for recipe) to bowl
Toss a large handful of mixed greens in vinaigrette
Plate mixed greens
Add asparagus, corn, beets, and a small handful of roasted, unsalted almonds

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe
Makes 1 serving

Put in bowl
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Pinch of pepper and sea salt

Whisk in 
1 tablespoon olive oil

I peel and cut the beets in quarters to shorten the cook time.

I put together a quick tutorial on how to blanch asparagus so you can see how easy it is.  Blanching veggies preserves the color of the vegetable and the crisp texture.  

Hold the corn steady on the cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut off the kernels.

I try not to overdress my salads because I like to taste my veggies and toppings for what they are.  I only toss the mixed greens and then add on my toppings at the end.

I put the corn, asparagus, and beets in plastic containers so I can use them all week for other salads. 

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