Okay, maybe 10 minutes. But it is really fast to make and fresh and flavourful. Nothing fancy but super-satisfying. Because spring means asparagus! If of course it hasn’t been panic-shopped off the shelves… But if you can get some, then this a nice warm salad to serve it up while the weather is still cool. Besides, self-isolation is way more fun when your pee smells funny.
Yield: 2-3 servings
What you need:
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1 (170mL) jar of marinated artichoke hearts, quartered (they usually already are quartered when you buy the jars)
- 1/2 of a red or green roasted bell pepper, finely diced (jarred or home-made, either one is fine)
- 2 large cherry tomatoes or 1 small regular tomato, cut into thin wedges
- zest of 1/2 an organic lemon
- olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- a splash of lemon juice
What you do:
- Heat a cast iron grill pan (ideal) or frypan (less ideal but it will work) over medium-high heat.
- While the pan heats, break the asparagus leaving the tender tips and top of the shoot. If you’re doing that for the first time, there’s a good tutorial on asparagus prep here.
- Put the asparagus in the pan in a roughly even layer, no worries if there’s some overlap. Sprinkle with salt and then put another heavy pan or pot (cast iron if you can) on top to weight the asparagus down. You got it right – no oil here – we’re just pan searing the asparagus to bring out the juices, get it nice and bright and give you those awesome grill marks. (And this amazing technique is from Chad and Derek Sarno. They use it on mushrooms, but I’ve found it translates well to lots of other veggies too!)
- You have 2 or 3 minutes to wait now. That should be enough to slice the tomatoes into thin wedges, dice the roasted red pepper and open the marinated artichokes. Put all those in a bowl together.
- Remove the top pan from the asparagus, toss them around with a pair of tongs so the other side can grill and then put the heavy pan back on top for a minute or two.
- During that minute or two, zest the lemon into the bowl.
- Remove the asparagus from the pan and lay it into a plate to cool a bit.
- Chop the asparagus in half and add to the bowl with the other ingredients. Add olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
- Add minced scallions and/or fresh herbs or pretty much any kind, to taste.