Tomato & Asparagus Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
Adapted from Peace Meals, Junior League Houston
You might gasp a little when you see the price tag on champagne vinaigrette. There seem to be varieties that are expensive. I bought the most inexpensive jar and it has lasted me a long time so it turned out to be a good investment. Unless you like your salads drowning in dressing, you will also have plenty left over to use for another salad or to make this again. Blanching is simply cooking a vegetable in boiling water for a few minutes to bring out it's color and then shocking it with cold ice water so that the cooking stops. If you would like an in depth refresher, click here.
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
dash of sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
for the salad:
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, any color, halved
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Step by Step
Crush the garlic clove with the side of a knife blade. The the clove (leaving it in one piece) to a mixing bowl. Add the vinegar, pepper, and a dash of salt; allow to sit for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic. Whisk in the mustard and sugar; slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify.
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Blanch (see note above) the asparagus for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Combing the asparagus and tomatoes in a medium bowl. Add the cheese and toss with desired amount of the vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to four hours. Toss again before serving and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Store extra vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.