Asparagus, Zucchini, and Parmesan Salad
For the salad:
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved and more for garnish
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1 lemon, cut into 12 thin wedges, for garnish
- 1 recipe lemon tarragon vinaigrette, see below
For the lemon oil:
- 2 cups canola oil
- Strips of zest from 1 lemon
- 1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers removed and bottom 4 inches roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1 lemon
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tarragon, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon oil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
To make the salad:
- Prepare asparagus: Trim the woody asparagus stems by bending them until they break. The asparagus will naturally break where the stem becomes woody. Discard the woody ends. Cut the asparagus on the bias (at a diagonal) into 1" pieces. Saute them in a hot skillet for about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare zucchini: Trim each end of the zucchini. Using a peeler, peel strips of zucchini into long ribbons. Do not peel past the center leave the center/seeds intact. Sprinkle the zucchini with a little salt, and let sit for 10 minutes or until slightly wilted.
- Putting it all together: In a medium size bowl, combine asparagus, zucchini, arugula and Parmesan. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Using a carving fork, twist a portion of the salad like spaghetti. Place the salad-filled fork in the center of a plate and slide the salad off. Sprinkle with more Parmesan to garnish.
To make the dressing:
- Prepare lemon oil: In a medium heavy saucepan over very low heat, combine oil, lemon peel and lemongrass. Cook, uncovered, until aromatic, about 1 hour. Do not let oil boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain through a mesh strainer into a heatproof container. Cool completely before using. May be stored in in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Prepare vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in lemon oil, then olive oil. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Nutritional information is based on using 1/3 of the Vinaigrette.
Per serving: 176 kcal cal., 16 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 6 g carb., 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 5 g pro., 106 mg calcium, 2 mg iron. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet