This lovely salad is perfect to serve in Spring and Easter when asparagus is in season.
It also has a great history. It was served as the eighth course in First class on the Titanic. Following the classic French Escoffier menu, a salad course often followed the roast. In general, salads and vegetable dishes were served separately, not on the same plate as a meat dish.
Asparagus Salad with Champagne-Saffron Vinaigrette
- 1 1/2 lbs. asparagus (select thin over thick stalks)
- 1/4 tsp. saffron threads
- 1 1/2 tbsp. champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
- 1 pinch sugar stevia for keto
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 sweet red or yellow pepper, diced
- Greens for garnish
- Holding the asparagus halfway up the stalk, snap off the woody ends at a natural breaking point and discard.
- In a wide, deep skillet or large pot of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus spears 3-5 minutes or until they are tender but not limp.
- Drain and run spears under cold water until completely cooled. Drain well and set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir the saffron into the teaspoon of boiling water. Let it stand for 2 minutes or until it is softened.
- Stir in the champagne vinegar, mustard and sugar. Whisk in the olive oil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the asparagus and diced pepper; toss gently to coat with the vinaigrette.
- Line a platter with salad greens and arrange the asparagus mixture on top.