Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette Recipe

Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette

Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette Recipe
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4

Introduction

Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette
Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette

Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette is a delightful and nutritious dish that combines the earthy flavors of fresh asparagus with the crunchiness of walnuts, all brought together with a tangy vinaigrette. This recipe is perfect for those looking for a light yet satisfying meal or side dish that is not only easy to prepare but also packed with health benefits. Whether you're hosting a dinner party or simply looking for a refreshing meal option, this asparagus recipe is sure to impress.

History

The use of asparagus in cooking dates back to ancient times, with its origins traced to the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor regions. It was highly prized by the Greeks and Romans for its unique flavor and supposed medicinal properties. The combination of asparagus with nuts and a vinaigrette dressing, however, is a more modern culinary innovation. This recipe reflects a fusion of traditional and contemporary cooking techniques, showcasing how simple ingredients can be transformed into a sophisticated and elegant dish.

Ingredients

How to prepare

  1. Steam the asparagus until it is crisp-tender.
  2. Drain the asparagus and pat it dry with paper towels.
  3. Set the asparagus aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the shallot, vinegar, mustard, sugar substitute, salt, and pepper.
  5. Gradually whisk in the oil.
  6. Divide the lettuce onto 4 plates.
  7. Arrange the asparagus on top of the lettuce and drizzle with the vinaigrette.
  8. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Variations

  • For a twist on the classic recipe, try substituting the walnuts with pecans or pine nuts for a different flavor profile. Adding crumbled goat cheese or shaved Parmesan can also add a creamy texture and depth to the dish. For a vegan version, omit the sugar substitute or use a plant-based alternative.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the asparagus is perfectly cooked, steam it until it is crisp-tender. This will preserve its bright green color and prevent it from becoming too soft. When toasting the walnuts, do so lightly to enhance their flavor without making them too bitter. For the vinaigrette, whisk the ingredients gradually to create an emulsion that will coat the asparagus evenly. Lastly, when arranging the dish, consider the presentation to make it visually appealing.

Serving Suggestions

This dish can be served as a light main course or as a side dish. For a complete meal, pair it with a source of lean protein such as grilled fish or chicken. It also pairs beautifully with quinoa or a slice of whole-grain bread for those seeking a more filling option.

Cooking Techniques

Steaming the asparagus preserves its nutrients and vibrant color, making it the preferred cooking method for this recipe. Whisking the vinaigrette until emulsified ensures that the dressing coats the asparagus evenly, enhancing the overall flavor of the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If white wine vinegar is not available, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can be used as a substitute. For those avoiding mustard due to allergies, a small amount of mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise can be used to achieve a similar creaminess in the vinaigrette.

Make Ahead Tips

The vinaigrette can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. The asparagus can also be steamed in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve. Simply assemble the dish just before serving to ensure freshness.

Presentation Ideas

Arrange the asparagus on a platter over a bed of mesclun greens for a beautiful presentation. Drizzle the vinaigrette generously and sprinkle the toasted walnuts on top. Garnish with edible flowers or fresh herbs for an extra touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs wonderfully with a crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied Chardonnay. The acidity of the wine complements the tanginess of the vinaigrette, while the herbal notes enhance the flavors of the asparagus and walnuts.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It is best enjoyed cold or at room temperature, as reheating may cause the asparagus to become overly soft.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette contains approximately 200-250 calories, making it a light and healthy option that can fit into various dietary plans. The exact calorie count may vary depending on the specific ingredients used and portion sizes.

Carbohydrates

This asparagus dish is relatively low in carbohydrates, making it an excellent choice for those monitoring their carb intake. The primary source of carbohydrates in this recipe comes from the asparagus and the small amount of sugar substitute used in the vinaigrette. Overall, the dish is a great option for a low-carb diet.

Fats

The fats in this recipe come mainly from the olive oil and walnuts. Olive oil is a source of monounsaturated fats, which are known for their heart-healthy benefits. Walnuts, on the other hand, provide polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health. Together, these fats contribute to the dish's richness and satiety factor.

Proteins

Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette is not a high-protein dish, but it does offer a modest amount of protein from the walnuts. For those looking to increase the protein content, consider adding a sprinkle of feta cheese or serving the dish alongside a lean protein source such as grilled chicken or fish.

Vitamins and minerals

Asparagus is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, calcium, protein, and fiber. Walnuts add to the dish's nutritional profile with their content of magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Together, these ingredients make the dish a great source of essential vitamins and minerals.

Alergens

The primary allergens in this recipe are walnuts, which are tree nuts, and mustard, which is a common allergen found in the vinaigrette. Those with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution or seek alternative ingredients.

Summary

Overall, Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette is a nutritious dish that offers a good balance of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals while being low in carbohydrates and calories. It is suitable for a variety of dietary needs, including vegetarian and low-carb diets.

Summary

Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette is a versatile and nutritious dish that combines the best of fresh ingredients with a simple yet flavorful vinaigrette. Whether served as a main course or a side dish, it offers a delightful blend of textures and tastes that are sure to satisfy. With its easy preparation and health benefits, this recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to enjoy a delicious and wholesome meal.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the joy I felt when I first discovered this recipe for Asparagus with Walnuts and Vinaigrette. It was during a trip to France many years ago, a place known for its delicious cuisine and fresh produce. I had always been a fan of asparagus, but the addition of walnuts and vinaigrette took it to a whole new level of flavor.

I was wandering through a local farmer's market in Provence when I stumbled upon a stall selling the most beautiful asparagus I had ever seen. The vibrant green stalks were so fresh and crisp, I knew I had to buy some and make a special dish with them. As I was paying for my purchase, the elderly woman behind the counter struck up a conversation with me.

She told me that she had a special recipe for asparagus that had been passed down through her family for generations. Intrigued, I asked her to share it with me. She smiled warmly and handed me a handwritten recipe on a small scrap of paper. It was simple yet elegant, just like the French countryside.

When I returned home, I wasted no time in trying out the recipe. I carefully trimmed the asparagus and blanched them until they were tender yet still crisp. I then toasted some walnuts in a dry pan until they were fragrant and golden brown. The vinaigrette was a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a touch of honey for sweetness.

When everything was ready, I assembled the dish on a platter, arranging the asparagus in a neat pile and scattering the toasted walnuts over the top. I drizzled the vinaigrette over everything, allowing it to seep into the nooks and crannies of the vegetables.

The first bite was a revelation. The asparagus was perfectly cooked, with a slight bite that contrasted beautifully with the crunch of the walnuts. The vinaigrette added a tangy, slightly sweet note that tied everything together. It was a symphony of flavors and textures that danced on my taste buds.

I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my culinary repertoire. Over the years, I have made it countless times for family gatherings, dinner parties, and quiet nights at home. Each time, it never fails to impress and delight those who taste it.

As I sit here now, reminiscing about that fateful day in Provence, I can't help but feel grateful for the kind woman who shared her family recipe with me. It has become a cherished part of my own culinary heritage, a link to the past that I will pass down to future generations.

So the next time you find yourself at a farmer's market or in a foreign land, be open to new experiences and recipes. You never know what delicious discoveries await you, just waiting to be shared and enjoyed by all. Bon app├ętit!

Categories

| Almond Recipes | Asparagus Recipes | Asparagus Side Dish Recipes | Atkins Appetizers | Spring Salad Mix Recipes | Walnut Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients

(5) Pulique
(4) Ajvar