The sour bites of pickled rhubarb add a lot of zing to this spring time salad of diverse tastes and textures.
- 1 litre very thick white asparagus
- 1 cup chicken stock, approximately
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 bay leaf
- walnut oil
- 4 cup butter or bibb lettuce, washed and torn into bite size pieces
- 5 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
- pickled rhubarb (see recipe section)
- freshly ground black pepper
Place the asparagus into a heavy saucepan. Choose a pan large enough to hold all the spears in a single layer. Otherwise work in batches.
Add enough stock to come about halfway up sides of the spears. Add 2 tablespoons butter, and the bay leaf, and cook uncovered over medium heat about 8 minutes. Roll the spears around until spears are very tender and glazed.
Remove the spears from the braising liquid and set aside on a plate. One of the joys of white asparagus is that it does not quickly discolor from cooking so there is no need to plunge into ice water as with green asparagus. But you can if you want to. If you have an audience in the kitchen (and well, who doesnâ€™t??) then please plunge away as dramatically as you can!
asparagus salad with walnuts, goat cheese and rhubarbOnce the asparagus has cooled completely cover it and place it in the refrigerator until well chilled.
When you are ready to plate this, toss a mild-tasting lettuce such as butter or Bibb with just enough walnut oil to make them glisten. Use the oil sparingly. It does not need to be mixed with vinegar or lemon juice. This salad has plenty of zip on itâ€™s own! Mound the dressed lettuce in the center of each salad plate.
Stack a pile of 5 or 6 spears of white asparagus around or on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle a generous amount of crumbled goat cheese on top followed by plenty of the pickled rhubarb.
Drizzle with some more of the walnut oil, just a few drops here and there for sparkle. Then add a good grind of black pepper over everything. Pucker up and enjoy!