Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Raspberry-Asparagus Medley

Even picky eaters will want their veggies when they see this novel side dish.  It would make an excellent side to any number of summer entrees, or you can serve the mixture over a bed of gourmet greens for an elegant salad (see photo below).  When choosing the raspberry preserves, look for a brand sweetened with fruit juice or organic sugar.

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus
  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped and toasted pecans
1. Combine the vinegar, raspberry preserves, mustard, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat once boiling and stir in the lemon rind.

2. Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Drain and plunge in ice water; drain again.  Combine the vinegar mixture, asparagus, and fresh raspberries in a bowl, tossing gently.  Sprinkle with the pecans.

Note: to toast the pecans, chop them first in order to increase the surface area that you’ll be toasting, then place in a small skillet over medium heat.  Cook anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan fairly constantly so the nuts don’t burn.  Rely on your sense of smell to tell you when the pecans are done.

Tonight I served the asparagus alongside Match pork in a little balsamic vinegar, garlic, and rosemary.  

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1/2 cup), Calories 65 

Tasting Notes:
The combination of sweet, soft raspberry and bitter crisp-tender asparagus was wonderful.  I actually thought the dish was better served over salad than when standing on its own, with the raspberry-and-vinegar mixture coating the greens in a sweet dressing.  When simply served as a side dish, the raspberry-and-vinegar mixture got left behind on the plate, and its flavor was lost.  Overall, very summery tasting, without any heavy flavor dragging down the brightness of the fresh asparagus and raspberry.


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