Asparagus Salad with Champagne-Saffron Vinaigrette
Recipe by Dana McCauley
On Titanic's 1st class menu the salad course was served after the roast, not as a side dish. It would have been presented on elongated dishes and served with special asparagus tongs. Very posh, no? I adore this vinaigrette and have made it many times, not just with this asparagus dish but, as a dressing for all sorts of salads. It is one of my favourite recipes from the book. Enjoy!
1 1/2 lbs asparagus
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of granulated sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 sweet red or yellow pepper, finely diced
1. Holding asparagus halfway up stalk, snap off woody ends at the natural breaking point and discard.
2. In a wide, deep skillet or large pot of boiling salted water, cook asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are tender but not limp.
3. Drain the asparagus and run under cold water until completely cooled; drain well.
4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir saffron into 1 teaspoon of boiling water; let stand for 2 minutes or until the threads have softened.
5. Stir in champagne vinegar, mustard and sugar. Whisking, drizzle in olive oil.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add asparagus and diced pepper; toss to coat. Serve in individual dishes.