Asparagus with shallot-honey dressing
6 to 8 servings
This holiday side dish is gluten-, egg- and dairy-free. The dressing has a creamy quality. Feel free to add grape tomatoes, pine nuts and/or chunks of ripe avocado for more texture and color.
MAKE AHEAD: The asparagus can be cooked, cooled and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. It's best to toss it with the dressing just before serving. You'll have leftover dressing, which can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Adapted from a recipe by Elaine Gordon, a master certified health education specialist and creator of EatingbyElaine.com.
2 pounds asparagus, preferably similar in thickness
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
Juice from 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice water and ice cubes.
Meanwhile, trim the woody ends of the asparagus. Peel some of the stalks, if desired. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.
Add the asparagus to the pot and cook/blanch for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is just tender and bright green. Use a Chinese skimmer or wide slotted spoon to transfer it to the ice-water bath to cool.
Combine the shallot, lemon juice, honey, garlic, sea salt and pepper in a mini-food processor. Pulse until well combined. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream to form an emulsified dressing.
Drain the asparagus; transfer it to paper towels to dry, then place in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Taste; adjust the seasoning or add dressing as needed.
Serve at room temperature.