Asparagus, Spring Pea and Baby Spinach Salad
Divide the asparagus in half. To prepare the first half, lay a single stalk on a cutting board. Holding onto the tough end, use a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler is easiest, but a standard one works too) to shave off thin asparagus ribbons from stalk to tip, peeling away from the tough end. Discard the tough ends once you’re done peeling. Gently pile the ribbons into a large serving bowl. Squeeze 1 Tablespoon lemon juice over the asparagus, drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Toss gently and place covered in the refrigerator while preparing the remainder of the salad.
To prepare the remaining asparagus, snap off the tough ends and discard them. Peel the remaining stalks and then slice them, on the diagonal, into 1-inch pieces.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Add the asparagus, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp. Refresh in a bowl of ice water. When fully cooled, drain and set aside.
Next, cook the peas for 2-3 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp. Refresh in a bowl of ice water. When fully cooled, drain and set aside.
Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, mustard and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the cooked asparagus, peas, and spinach in the large serving bowl with the asparagus ribbons. Drizzle over the dressing and toss gently until well combined.
In Your Glass
This salad is nice and mustardy and would be great with a white with good acid like a Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc produced in the Sancerre region of France). Likewise a lean, crisp Italian Pinot Grigio has proved a delicious choice for us. At other times we’ve gone for a white wine that, like the dish itself balances crisp acidity and with some rich flavors, such as Shafer’s Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay.