Have Salad – will travel. Recently (Easter to be more precise) we loaded up the family car and headed out to the farm to have dinner with Dad. Due to a number of reasons, our plans for Easter abruptly changed, and we made the short-notice change of plans work extremely well.
Since it was just going to be five people for dinner, with only an hour between arrival and sitting down to a nice meal, I made some last-minute adjustments to my Easter Sunday Supper without the Ham menu. Skipped all the usual appetizer – no point in filling up on appetizers before dinner. We didn’t need the Lamb bread either – again, part of whole scaling back. Kept the Brown Sugar Pecan Glazed Pork Tenderloin, which turned out to be a great choice since it traveled well. I prepped the Tenderloin at home and placed it on a roasting rack just as the recipe called for. Covered the uncooked tenderloin (rack, pan and all) with foil. Then I made the glaze in a Tupperware container and packed that for the drive out to the farm. Upon our arrival, we popped the tenderloin into the oven to roast, adding the glaze during the last thirty minutes of cooking. With everything prepped at home to be finished off in the farm kitchen, Kiddo and Hubby did all the “cooking” – leaving yours truly time to have a wonderful visit with Dad. His health has been a little rocky, and it was nice to just sit with him. (Have I mentioned how great my guys are? Not only did they finish cooking dinner, they cleared the table and did all the dishes, giving me the best gift possible – time to sit with my Dad). Just about everything for Easter changed. Including the salad.
Easter morning, Kiddo made the vinaigrette dressing, while I prepared the salad. Then Kiddo pulled it all together just before serving. Talk about a hit! Everyone loved the salad. I’m not sure, but I think Dad had a third helping of salad. It was delicious. But then what’s not to love? Tender-crisp asparagus, luscious tomatoes and a subtly-sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette – out of this world good!
Asparagus and Tomato Salad with a Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Asparagus and Tomato Salad
1 bunch of asparagus
4 large tomatoes
1/4 heaping cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
Remove the woody ends from the asparagus. Lay asparagus on a cutting board, tips even. Beginning at tips, cut trimmed asparagus into thirds.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute or until crisp-tender. Using a large slotted spoon or small strainer, pluck asparagus from the boiling water and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let asparagus remain in ice water for about a minute. Remove asparagus from ice water, place on paper towels to drain, folding more towels over top to absorb excess water.
Place blanched asparagus into a large bowl and set aside.
Cut tomatoes into bite-size pieces. Rinse, removing seeds and pulp. Pat dry with paper towels and place into bowl with asparagus.
Lay three or four basil leaves in a stack. Roll into a cigar shape. Cut width-wise into thin ribbons. Sprinkle over salad. Toss to combine. Chill well until ready to serve.
While salad is chilling, make dressing.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 large clove garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Whisk together until combined and honey has dissolved.
Place dressing into a small container with a tight-fitting lid. Set aside until ready to serve.
When ready to “dress” salad, shake dressing well to emulsify. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Serve remaining dressing along side salad with a small spoon to drizzle as desired.