Asparagus with Red Onion Vinaigrette
This beautiful salad with its bright red and green colors is the perfect start to any dinner. Fresh tender-crisp asparagus and roasted red pepper are dressed with Red Onion Vinaigrette, and garnished with curls of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and black olives. The peppers, asparagus, and dressing may be prepared ahead of time, a boon to the hostess.
- Red Pepper - 2
- Asparagus - 1-1/2 to 2 pounds pencil or medium
- Red Onion Vinaigrette
- Tarragon Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Kosher salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
- Dijon mustard - 1 tablespoons
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 6 tablespoons
- Red Onion - 4 tablespoons, finely chopped
- Garlic - 1 clove, minced
- Capers - 2 tablespoons, drained
- Tarragon - 2 teaspoons (alt. dill), minced
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese - 6 tablespoons, shaved
- Olives - 12 black, oil-cured
To roast the peppers: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put the peppers on a baking sheet and roast 30 to 40 minutes, or until the peppers blister. Remove and place in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let stand 30 minutes. Peel under running cool water. Remove all seeds and ribs and cut into 1/4-inch strips.
To prepare the asparagus: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on thickness, until just tender. Lift with a wire skimmer or slotted spoon and place in ice water to cool. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To prepare the vinaigrette: Combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and mustard in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil, red onion, garlic, capers, and tarragon or dill. Set aside.
To serve; Arrange asparagus spears on 6 serving plates. Lattice pepper strips over the base of the asparagus. Drizzle vinaigrette over the asparagus. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the salads. Garnish with black olives.