This Cold Asparagus with Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette recipe comes straight from Edgar Farms in Innisfail, Alberta. Years ago co-owner Elna Edgar published an all-asparagus cookbook called, Asparagus Pie and More – a collection of tried and true asparagus recipes. I bought my copy for a whopping $5 bucks and this recipe alone made it “worth it.” And, there are many more keeper recipes in that 56 page gem of a local’s cookbook too. This is what makes producers like Elna and her family, Food Artisans of Alberta. They care about every aspect of their business from earth to plate.
There’s a few more weeks of asparagus season left here in Alberta. The farm gate store is open six days a week. Call for current hours and go see for yourself the miracle of these tender spears shooting up from their sandy beds of earth. You can sometimes catch the asparagus picking team going up and down the beds in a special picking apparatus that holds three workers in saddles straddling the beds. Elna told me once that on really warm days, you can literally watch the spears grow and occasionally they pick the same row three times in one day.
I’m cooking steak for my husband and father-in-law this weekend on Father’s Day. This salad is going to be the perfect seasonal accompaniment. I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s another great way to savour it all.Print
Cold Asparagus Salad with Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette
Bright green blanched asparagus accented with toasted sesame is a versatile side dish or can be added to noodle salads too.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 generous servings
- Category: Vegetables
- Method: boiling and blanching
- Cuisine: Canadian
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 lb Edgar Farms fresh asparagus
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar or Mirin
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons organic canola oil
- ½ teaspoon Sambal Oelek
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Pour the sesame seeds into a skillet and cook over medium heat just until fragrant and golden. Watch them carefully as they can go from golden to burnt quickly. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the asparagus and cook until it turns bright green – about 5 minutes. It should be tender-crisp.
- Drain the asparagus and then plunge the spears into a big bowl of ice and water. Leave it until it is cool and then drain it and pat it dry. Arrange it on a serving platter and set aside.
- Put the garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, orange juice, soy, canola, Sambal Oelek and sesame oil in a blender and blend until a smooth dressing forms.
- Pour the dressing evenly over the asparagus and sprinkle with the reserved sesame seeds.
- Enjoy as a side or you can add to noodles and tofu to create a great summer salad.
Asparagus season is only six precious weeks each year. After that, the grower must stop picking so the plants can grow into tall ferns that collect nutrients from the sun and feed the roots. A perennial, these plants can produce for 20 years once they are established.
Keywords: asparagus salad