Asparagus Salad With Hazelnut Vinaigrette
|Hazelnut oil||1 Tablespoon|
|Vegetable oil||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
|Finely chopped hazelnuts||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), toasted|
|Thin asparagus||2 Pound|
|Raspberry vinegar||2 Tablespoon|
|Freshly ground black pepper||To Taste|
|Romaine lettuce||5 (Greens To Line Plates)|
To Make Hazelnut Oil: At least 24 hours before using, heat vegetable oil on top of stove or in microwave until very hot.
Place nuts in a small bowl or glass jar and pour hot oil over.
Cover and steep at room temperature for 24 to 36 hours.
Pour through strainer, pressing down lightly on the nuts.
Refrigerate oil and nuts separately until ready to use.
(Nuts and oil may be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.) To Prepare Asparagus Bundles: Cut off the woody bottoms of asparagus, leaving spears about 5 inches long.
Separate into bundles of 6 to 8 thin spears each, with tips pointing in the same direction.
Cut off green onion tops where the white ends and cut green tops in half lengthwise.
(Reserve white parts for another use.) Place tops in a micro-wavesafe pie dish, add 1/4 inch water and microwave, covered, on high (100%) for 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted.
Tie green strips of onion around asparagus bundles.
To Cook: In a large skillet, bring about 1 inch of salted water to a boil.
Add asparagus bundles and boil gently, uncovered, until just tender, about 4 minutes.
Remove bundles and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
Blot dry. (Asparagus may be refrigerated overnight on a double thickness of paper towels covered with plastic wrap.) To Make Vinaigrette: In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake vinegar and hazelnut oil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Dressing may be refrigerated for several days.) To Assemble: Shortly before serving, line salad plates with greens.
Place 1 asparagus bundle on each plate, whisk vinaigrette, and drizzle over each serving.
Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.