I came up with this salad after buying my weekly bundle of asparagus. The thin stalks needed only a quick blanch in some simmering water for a couple minutes before they were ready. I had some leftover toasted hazelnuts from the Rhubarb Raspberry Tarts so gave them a quick chop and added them in. It was finished off with some shavings of pecorino and the chervil vinaigrette.
The vinaigrette itself can be modified in all sorts of ways by switching out different herbs and vinegars. I wanted something light that wouldn't overwhelm the other ingredients and so chose the white wine vinegar and a touch of lemon juice for acidity. This vinaigrette comes together in no time in the blender and also emulsifies nicely.
For 4 servings:
- 1 1/2 cups asparagus, cut into 3-inch lengths
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup chervil leaves, stems discarded
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch of kosher salt
- pinch of sugar
- 4 cups lettuce mix
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- Shavings of pecorino, to taste
In a blender, combine the oil, vinegar, chervil, lemon juice, salt and sugar. Blend, scraping down the sides once, until emulsified.
In a salad bowl, combine the lettuce, hazelnuts, asparagus and vinaigrette and toss to combine. Shave the pecorino over the top and serve immediately.