But Marinated Asparagus is Not Soup

Marinated Asparagus with Burrata and Walnut Pistou

When is a soup not a soup? When it’s a salad! This is one of those convoluted and practically pointless stories about how Marinated Asparagus ended up with the things you see on this plate. It’s Saturday and I’ve got just enough time for a pointless story. I’m hoping you do too.

We have “turned the page” at my house. We’re still caregivers for a very frail 89 yo woman. So we still live with the limitations and responsibilities that accompany that challenge. But, as caregivers, we were eligible for first-round vaccinations and are now fully vaccinated.

Which opens the door to maskless small group encounters with other fully vaccinated folks. At my house that means a dinner party. It’s been so long since I’ve had people to dinner. 

In the past dinner parties were a prime opportunity to feature some particularly interesting recipe on this blog. Grilled Snap Pea Toast with Mascarpone & Everything-Bagel Seasoning, Soy and Vinegar Braised Pork Cheeks, Ash-Seared, Cocoa-Rubbed Lamb Loin, and Mexican Chocolate Tart are examples of dinner party recipes that made the pages of this blog.

So you may be surprised to learn that when faced with the first chance to cook for people in a year I balked at featuring anything from the menu here.

Not that the menu couldn’t stand up to the scrutiny. 

However, the main course I served at this first-in-a-year dinner party, Mushroom Lasagna with Gorgonzola Mornay Sauce, has been featured on this blog in the past. Everything I had to say about this luscious dish I said in 2014. 

What about the soup course? Couldn’t I share the soup with you all?

I chose Naomi Pomeroy’s Asparagus Velouté with Walnut-Parsley Pistou from her cookbook Taste & Technique. Asparagus is the star of springtime and I thought this ultra-creamy velouté was a great way to feature it. Sophisticated. Elegant. It’s a perfectly Sippity Sup recipe.

The truth is I have my caregiving responsibilities to thank for the newly vaccinated reality I’m living. But caregiving is also the reason that though I have time for a dinner party (and a pointless story) I’m having trouble finding the time (and headspace) to work on this blog.

So I let the velouté post slip through the cracks.

The dinner party was a success. Still, I felt like I’d let an opportunity get away from me.

So the next day I assessed the leftovers. There wasn’t a drop of soup in the pot and my guests went home with the last two slices of lasagna. But there was quite a bit of the Walnut-Parsley Pistou left in the bowl.

I almost ran to the store to buy more cream to remake the soup. Yes, it was that good.

Instead, I decided to create something new that was inspired by Pomeroy’s elegant velouté. Marinated Asparagus with Burrata and Walnut-Parsley Pistou. I may have copied the flavors, but I can honestly say this salad is my own creation. Now that’s how you write a blog post! GREG

Walnut Pistou

Marinated Asparagus with Burrata and Walnut-Parsley Pistou 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4–6Published
Marinated Asparagus with Burrata and Walnut Pistou


  • water and ice (as needed for ice bath)
  • 2 pound asparagus spears (ends trimmed)
  • 1 ½ cup simple vinaigrette (see recipe: https://​www​.sippitysup​.com/​r​e​c​i​p​e​/​m​y​-​s​i​m​p​l​e​-​b​a​s​i​c​-​v​i​n​a​i​g​r​e​t​te/)
  • 2 balls of fresh burrata (may substitue mozzarella slices)
  • walnut-parsley pistou (see recipe: https://​www​.sippitysup​.com/​r​e​c​i​p​e​/​w​a​l​n​u​t​-​p​a​r​s​l​e​y​-​p​i​s​t​ou/)
  • kosher salt (as needed)


Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Set aside.

Bring a large shallow pot of water to a boil, add a generous amount of salt. Carefully lay all the asparagus spears in the boiling water, making sure they are fully submerged. Boil about 2 minutes or until tender-crisp. Do not overcook. Strain the asparagus spears and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to stop the cooking. Use tongs to transfer the asparagus to a large ziplock bag, pour in vinaigrette, and seal the bag. Place the bag in a large bowl to avoid a messy leak. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Just before serving, drain asparagus, reserving vinaigrette for another use. Arrange the spears on a serving platter and nestle the balls of burrata on top. Spoon about ½ cup walnut-parsley pistou over the asparagus and burrata. Serve with additional pistou on the side.

Walnut-Parsley Pistou

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 2 cupsSource Naomi PomeroyPublished

To make the garlic paste roughly chop 2 peeled garlic cloves and sprinkle ¼ tsp of kosher salt on top. Run the flat side of the knife back and forth over the garlic, applying pressure with your hand to massage the salt into the garlic and make a fine paste.

Walnut-Parsley Pistou


  • ½ cup walnut halves
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste (see notes)


Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread the walnuts on a small baking sheet and toast for 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly fragrant but not overly toasted. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

Place the oil in a small bowl and add the parsley immediately upon chopping to prevent browning.

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts 3 to 4 times to break them into small pieces. Add the cheese and garlic paste and pulse another 5 to 10 times. Combine the nut mixture and the parsley with its oil in a bowl and stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

My Simple Basic Vinaigrette 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 2+ cupsSource Adapted from BouchonPublished

This is just a basis for my salad dressings or marinades. I like to store it in my refrigerator in this basic form until I decide how to use it. At the minimum you should also add a pinch each salt and pepper just before serving. But the additions you can make are limitless.


  • ¼ cup dijon mustard
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1½ cup olive or vegetable oil


Combine the mustard and vinegar in a blender. Blend to combine. Then, with the machine running, drizzle in about ½ cup of the oil. Once it emulsifies and becomes very creamy turn off the machine and pour the mixture into a large jar. Add the remaining 1 cup oil. Secure the lid and shake to combine. Reshake just before serving.