Asparagus salad with tangerines, avocado, hazelnuts & feta

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by Chef Chuck Wiley, Café ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho

azfamily.com

Posted on March 10, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 10 at 10:03 AM

Ingredients:
1 lb. asparagus spears, med. size
1 recipe hazelnut vinaigrette (recipe follows)
To taste kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby lettuce or bibb lettuce
2 cups watercress    
3 ea. tangerines, sectioned
1 ea. avocado, diced
¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
¾ cup feta cheese
2 Tbsp. (optional) cilantro, roughly chopped

Instructions:
If grilling: Pre-heat a gas or charcoal grill. Wash the asparagus and snap off the tough end; place in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until tender (about 4 minutes); remove from grill and set aside. If preparing on the stove top: Fill a large sauce pot with 1” water and insert a steamer basket. Steam the asparagus until just tender, plunge into ice water and lay out on paper towels to drain; toss with a bit of the vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper.

Place the lettuce and watercress in a large mixing bowl. Add just enough vinaigrette to coat each leaf, sprinkle with a few grains of salt and toss gently. Divide between four plates. Place the asparagus on top of the greens.

Sprinkle with the tangerine segments. Toss the avocado with some of the vinaigrette and spoon on top of the citrus. Top with crumbled feta cheese, hazelnuts and cilantro (optional).

Hazelnut Vinaigrette
Yield: approx. 1/3 cup

Ingredients:
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. hazelnut oil
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
To taste salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:
Combine mustard and vinegar in a glass or stainless steel bowl; whisk. Slowly add the oil in a stream, whisking. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yield: 4 Servings

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