An invitation to a weekend dinner party …
“Will you bring an interesting salad?
“Of course! Define interesting .. “
“Oh .. you know .. something green, of course .. but it also needs to have some crunch .. yes .. crunch .. oh, and a combination of complex flavors. Don't forget the notion of a making a small quantity .. salad never really keeps well in the fridge .. plus, a small serving exploding with flavor is much better than volume .. don't you think?”
“Ummmm … “
That very same day .. 101cookbooks posted the recipe for this salad .. this was it. I'm not a huge fan of cilantro .. but knew the other guests would be. What was I worried about?
Good heavens .. it was fantastic!
Guaranteed .. this recipe will be making many appearances in my kitchen this season .. it's just that good.
And so .. Here's to a season filled with dinner parties, interesting food pared with beautiful salads, and best of all .. good friends for company
We hope you're looking forward to it as much as we are ..
~ Adapted from 101Cookbooks here
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 1/2 cup shallots sliced
- 9-12 oz asparagus spears sliced thin
- 1 bunch of cilantro with stems
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup peanuts toasted, and cooled
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds I used sunflower seeds
- Making the shallot oil, (**Note: you can do this up to a few days in advance)
- Place the oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan or wok, over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot turn the stove’s knob to medium, sprinkle in the shallots, and cook slowly until they are deeply golden, 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from heat, strain the oil off into a jar, and set aside. Place the shallots on a paper towel and allow them to cool and crisp.
- In the meantime, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, salt generously, and cook the asparagus for just 15-30 seconds or so, until bright. Drain, and quickly transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again, and set aside.
- Trim the stems from the cilantro, and wash … drying completely
- Just before you’re ready to serve the salad, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, sea salt, and two tablespoons of the shallot oil.
- Place the cilantro, peanuts, asparagus, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Drizzle the soy dressing over, and toss to combine.
- Serve with some of the crispy shallots on top