Recipe Recap :: Asparagus Salad, Peppercorn-Crusted Tuna & Pestoed Polenta
Better late than never...as promised, here's a rundown of those recipes I whipped up last Sunday for an impromptu dinner with two of my girlfriends (my studio apartment can sadly only fit so many people!). Standard practice, I assessed what I had in the fridge that morning, built a menu around the fresh vegetables and herbs I had lying around and then picked up a gorgeous piece of tuna steak from Whole Foods for the main entree. All said and done, I knocked out this dinner (4 dishes including a simple fresh ricotta appetizer) in under an hour...a suprisingly relaxing end to a long weekend.
Asparagus Salad with Pickled Rhubarb & Australian Feta Cheese
Serves :: 4
2 stalks rhubarb, chopped into 1 - 1 1/2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 black peppercorns
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Australian feta cheese *Australian is unbelievably creamy and mild tasting - you'll be an addict with just one taste!
Red wine vinaigrette
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar *I've been using the housemade red wine vinegar from the Meat Hook in Brooklyn - A-mazing!
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Pour 2 cups water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in rhubarb and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes. Place in an ice bath to stop additional cooking.
In a mixing bowl, place rhubarb along with red wine vinegar, sugar, ginger, salt and peppercorns. Set aside.
Toss asparagus spears with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet and roast for 18 to 20 minutes.
Arrange asparagus on a serving plate, place rhubarb in a horizontal line over spears and crumble feta over top. Drizzle with about 1/2 the vinaigrette.
For vinaigrette: Add mustard, shallot, vinegar, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl and slowly whisk in olive oil until well-blended.
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