Monday, August 6, 2012

Asparagus Salad

When I first started cooking, I wanted to create and execute dishes top chef style.  I was always trying to think of intricate recipes with lots of ingredients that would result in some mouth explosion of culinary genius.  That's all good and great, but I'm not a top chef nor am I on a television show.  I'm just trying to cook food that tastes great and is healthy.  My adventures in the kitchen and my journey learning about food has lead me to become more of a traditionalist.  Simple food is best.  My food philosophy- choose quality food and let it shine.  Good food speaks for itself.  It doesn't need to be dressed up in a snazzy outfit.

This seasonal asparagus salad is an expression of that idea.  Seasonal food not only tastes better but is better for the environment. In addition, when you prepare food with a simplistic perspective, it's easier and faster than creating an elaborate dish. This salad takes about 15 minutes, tops.  When you make this salad take a minute to actually think about how good the asparagus tastes. It's a novel idea that we often don't consider when we are inhaling food.  Slow it down and appreciate.

What makes this bite better?
Asparagus is a super-food high in Vitamin K, folate, phytosterols, polyphenols, flavonoids, ascorbic acid and saponins.  Studies have shown these components to reduce cholesterol and increase antioxidant defense in the body. Asparagus is used in chinese medicine to purify the lungs and is a fundamental component of Ayurvedic medicine used to regulate hormones, reduce inflammation, prevent gastric ulcers, treat nervous and liver disorders and fight infection.  Plus, it's a known aphrodisiac.
Asparagus Salad
1 bunch of Asparagus
Parsley about 1 Tablespoon finely chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (about 2 tbsp)
Lemon Juice (about 1 tbsp)
Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)
Walnuts (optional)

Rinse the asparagus and remove the harsh outer skin with a sharp knife or peeler.  Chop into bite size pieces, in any shape you desire.  Finely chop parsley and add to the asparagus.  Gently drizzle olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss the salad to mix.  I used my hands because it's more fun.  If desired add a sprinkle of parmigiano reggiano cheese or a handful of chopped walnuts.  Serve and enjoy :)

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