Asparagus Salad with Peas and Toasted Almonds
Total Time: 20
Yield: 6 servings
- 2 bunches asparagus, washed and cut into 5-inch pieces (tough bottoms discarded)
- 1 cup shelled fresh peas
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄3 cup whole almonds
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- About 10 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Garnish: 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
In a large bowl, combine 3 cups very cold water with 1 dozen ice cubes. In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups well-salted water to a boil; add asparagus. Return water to a boil and blanch asparagus 5 minutes (8 to 10 minutes if using thick spears). Remove asparagus with tongs (reserving water in pan) and place in ice water 1 minute; remove from water, dry, and set aside. Bring cooking water back to a boil and blanch peas about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in ice water 1 minute. Strain and dry well; set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté shallot in olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove shallot to a small bowl and set aside. Add almonds to hot oil and toast 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, being careful not to burn. Add almonds to shallot and mix in lemon zest, juice, peas, and mint leaves.
Arrange asparagus spears on a serving platter (or divided among six salad plates). Season pea and almond mixture with salt and pepper, then spoon over asparagus. Garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano.