Asparagus Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Chickpeas
Cookbook author Mollie Katzen suggests using green beans if asparagus is out of season. She also offers optional touches of crumbled cheese, fresh parsley leaves, halved cherry tomatoes, minced arugula or slivered almonds. To make this into a one dish meal, serve over a bed of couscous or short macaroni. A fresh, acidic sauvignon blanc from New Zealand complements the asparagus.
1 pound asparagus, trimmed of tough ends
1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic
2 teaspoons agave nectar or light-colored honey
2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
Up to 1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large roasted red bell peppers, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips, or two 12-ounce jars roasted red peppers, drained
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Freshly ground pepper
Up to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
Cut the asparagus into 11/2-inch pieces and steam until bright green and just tender. Refresh under cold running water until it cools to room temperature. Drain well, and dry with a kitchen towel.
Whisk garlic, agave, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl to blend. Keep whisking as you drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated.
Add the asparagus, roasted peppers and chickpeas; toss to coat. Taste to adjust the salt and add pepper. Splash in lemon juice to taste, before serving. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Adapted from “Mollie Katzen’s The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $34.99).
Per serving: 393 calories (50 percent from fat), 24 g fat (2.8 g saturated, 14.8 g monounsaturated), 0 cholesterol, 12.6 g protein, 41.6 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber, 650 mg sodium.