Monday, May 11, 2009

Cooking Seasonally

I always love to cook fresh from the seasons best ingredients. In our area, asparagus is in season, and absolutely delicious. Here is a great, somewhat fancy looking, and easy recipe that I made for dinner guests this weekend. It can be served hot or cold.

Asparagus and Mushroom Salad

1 bunch asparagus
one pint mushrooms (I use baby portobello)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped basil
Parmesan cheese
salt, to taste

Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces (trim off rough fibrous parts on bottom) and thinly slice the mushrooms.

Simmer the mushrooms with a small amount of olive oil until tender, remove from heat, set aside, then simmer the asparagus just covered with water, with a pinch of salt, until tender.

While the asparagus is cooking, whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil, and black pepper together.

Once you have drained the asparagus and the mushrooms, gently toss them with the dressing and basil, add salt to taste. Top with Parmesan cheese.