Asparagus and Baby Vidalia Onion Salad with Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette
This recipe is featured in Real Southern Food, Lightened Up
This salad absolutely sings spring. Asparagus has not traditionally been a Deep South crop, certainly not on a large scale. It requires a cold winter so that the plants can go dormant. The first time I saw asparagus growing was while visiting Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. I was shocked to see it comes straight up out of the earth, one spear at a time, just like someone stuck them in like darts in a dartboard.
Vidalia onions on the other hand, are a very common sight in the South — and one of my absolute favorite ingredients. Increasingly, in the spring you can find baby Vidalia onions, harvested before they reach maturity and essentially overgrown green onions. If you cannot find baby Vidalias, you may substitute green onions.
- Servings Serves 4
- 680 grams* (1½ pounds) medium asparagus, trimmed
- 4 baby Vidalia onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) sherry wine vinegar
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 English cucumber, partially peeled in strips, seeded, and cubed
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) chopped fresh herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, chives, and mint)
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
Metric conversions by The Cook’s Cook
1. Prepare an ice-water bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. Line a plate with paper towels.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green and just tender, about 3 minutes. Without draining, add the onions and cook until both vegetables are tender, an additional 30 or 45 seconds.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, and oil. Set aside. Drain the asparagus and onions well in a colander, then set the colander with the asparagus and onions in the ice-water bath (to set the color and stop the cooking), making sure the asparagus is submerged. Once chilled, remove the asparagus and onions to the prepared plate. Pat dry and transfer to a large bowl. Add the cucumbers and herbs. Add the reserved dressing and toss to coat and combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Calories 139 Fat 7 g Carbs 16 g Fiber 6 g Protein 5 g