I have always been a fan of Anne Burrell. Ever since she made her own butter, my heart… well… melted. Her wild hair and crazy gutteral voice that comes out when something is SUuuuper delicious got me hooked. Her recipes are also pretty great. I think the first one I tried was Maple and Cayenne glazed chicken. I have been thinking of her lately because I just checked out her new cookbook, “Cook Like A Rock Star” at my local library. Actually I checked it out about 3 days ago, and I haven’t cracked the cover yet…but it was like her voice has been resonating in my soul… “rock it out.” She said to me. “make that awesome asparagus thing.”
The time came, thursday night, the planets aligned and I cooked dinner. Roasted garlic rosemary and lemon chicken. Mashed potatoes with butter and lots of salt. And, Anne Burrell’s asparagus thing.
The asparagus thing is actually a salad. What makes it so cool and rock-starish, is that you don’t cook the asparagus! Wild, I know! You make the salad and let it marinate in the vinegar heavy dressing and the vinegar works its magic on the asparagus and sort of tenderizes it. I added red onion, fresh parsley, grated asiago cheese, and salt and pepper, but other herbs could work too (tarragon?). When I finally sat down later to look at Anne’s book I laughed because this recipe IS in her new cookbook- and the whole time I was making it I was using my phone to look online. Oh well. It’s pretty simple you barely have to look at a recipe anyways.
I actually did not have an hour to let it marinate. We ate this within about 15 minutes of me making it. My sweetheart still said, “Oh, this is good. This is raw?! I didn’t know you could eat raw asparagus!” Which is exactly the reaction Anne says you’ll get from this dish. Pleased as punch.
The next day I whipped up some crostini with my half and half french bread. This is perfect for Easter brunch. No cooking, make ahead, ready when you are rock star awesomeness. Totally easy breezy.
Eeeexcept, when you cut these little guys cross-ways, be careful- they tend to like to roll all over your cutting board. I found that cutting slow rather then the quick dice I’m used to is the way to go, and cleaning your knife often of the asparagus pieces that cling to it is a good move. A little rollie pollie action is kinda fun sometimes.
Anne totally got my wheels turning. What else can I do raw like this? Last year I made a raw beet salad from Bon Appetit that was fabulous. What about raw broccoli, carrot slaw, or shaved fennel!? It boggles the mind.
Asparagus Salad, from Anne Burrell, with a few minor changes that don’t really affect the dish by Darlene (Corvallis Foodie).
1 bunch pencil thin asparagus, tough end parts removed (cut about an inch up from the stalk- the bend and snap method isn’t necessarily true and you could end up with a lot more waste)
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped red onion (Anne Burrell or A.B. uses 1 whole small red onion, diced. That seemed like too much to me, so I used less)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf or curly parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (A.B says 1 cup finely grated Pecorino- but I had Asiago on hand and it was delicious)
1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper
1. Cut the asparagus cross-wise up to the tips (leave the tips whole), and put in a medium serving bowl. Add the red onion, parsley, and grate the cheese over the whole mess. Toss gently.
2. Drizzle the vinegar, then the olive oil over the top and season with salt and pepper. Toss again.
If you have the luxury of an hour, let it marinate. If you don’t, or you just can’t stand it, then eat as soon as 15 minutes after tossing.