This piece was originally published in the July 9, 2009 issue of My City, a monthly magazine distributed with the Abbotsford News.
We love asparagus but are challenged to find a wine that can work well with it. Vegetables can be tough to pair with wine at the very best of times, and asparagus is one vegetable that surely tests the limits. That’s why I usually serve it alongside our main meal. But when we recently had good friends over for dinner, I got brave and served it as the main attraction in a roasted asparagus salad dressed with a lemon-and-caper mayonnaise.
After cleaning and breaking away the woody parts of the stems, I tossed the raw asparagus in olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked white pepper. I laid all the little pretties out on a cookie sheet and roasted them for about 12 minutes at 450˚ F. You can do this just as easily on the barbeque, using one of those dishes designed to keep small bits of food from falling through the grills. The idea is to end up with asparagus that have a tiny bit of char and are ‘just’ done. They’ll continue to cook a little while they’re cooling down and you’re getting the greens and dressing ready.
The dressing is a simple mixture of four or five tablespoons of ready-made mayonnaise, a teaspoon of lemon juice, two teaspoons of jarred capers, and, added at the very end, two tablespoons of heavy cream. Whisk that lot together and season it with salt and pepper if you think it needs any.
Toss four to six cups of greens (depends how much you want, really) with no more than a couple of tablespoons of the mayo mixture—you want the greens very lightly dressed. On individual plates, lay the asparagus atop the greens you’ve already dished and then drizzle the rest of the dressing over top. Garnish with extra capers, if you like.
Serve the salad and French bread with a bottle of Chablis and you’ve found a perfect pairing.
We poured the 2005 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Premier Cru Beauroy ($44.99/13% ABV) to go with this salad. And ‘go’ it did. It’s a classic representation... read more.