I’ve been craving this salad for weeks now. I’m not sure what triggered the idea, but it slowly expanded in mind, every few days mentally adding a new ingredient. Today, finally, I put pen to paper, err knife to vegetable (???) and made it happen!
The salad is the epitome of fresh, spring flavors, with a little Italian influence thrown in for good measure. The base is a bed of peppery baby arugula, topped with blanched asparagus, salty Prosciutto and Parmesan cheese, and finished with a smattering of toasted pine nuts and tart fresh lemon juice. The whole thing is a delight to the palate and to the mind, which in my case so badly wanted the weather to feel as springy as the salad tasted.
This is a must-try. It’s simple and doesn’t even require making a salad dressing. Simply drizzle a bit of olive oil and lemon juice over the top and it’s ready to serve.
Here’s the recipe for Spring Green Asparagus & Arugula Salad:
Spring Green Asparagus & Arugula Salad – makes 2 large servings
1/4 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons pine nuts
4 ounces baby arugula
1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil
Small block of Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the asparagus and boil for 90 seconds, then submerge in an ice bath. Drain once cool and set aside.
Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over low heat. Stir often and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
To assemble, arrange the arugula on two dinner plates. Top each with half the asparagus, toasted pine nuts and prosciutto. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and fresh lemon juice to taste.
Use a vegetable peeler to cut thin slices off the block of Parmesan. Arrange a few slices over each salad plate and enjoy.