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Roast Asparagus Salad with Chèvre

Pass hot, crust-seeded semolina or whole-grain bread at the table for mopping up extra dressing from the plate.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. asparagus
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • About 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

For the dressing:

  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. snipped fresh chives
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 6 green onions, including about 2 inches of the
      green portions, chopped
  • 7 to 8 cups mixed baby salad greens
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, red or mixed red and
      yellow, stems removed
  • 1/4 lb. herbed goat cheese (chèvre), cut into
      6 slices

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil.

Snap off any tough ends from the asparagus spears and trim the break with a sharp knife. Using a vegetable peeler and starting just below the tip, peel the skin off each spear, down to the end. Arrange the spears in a single layer on the prepared pan, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil. Roast until tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, olive oil and mustard. Stir in the chives and season with pepper.

Spoon about 2 Tbs. of the dressing over the asparagus and let stand while tossing the salad.

In a large bowl, gently toss together the green onions and the salad greens. Add the tomatoes. Drizzle just enough of the dressing onto the salad so the greens glisten and toss again. (You may not need to use all of the dressing.) Immediately mound the salad in the center of large individual salad plates. Place a slice of chèvre on top of each mound of greens and arrange asparagus spears around the perimeter of each plate, dividing them equally. Drizzle a few extra drops of the remaining dressing over the chèvre. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Everyday Roasting, by Janeen Sarlin (Time-Life Books, 1998).