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Springtime Warm Asparagus Salad

Makes four servings | Chef George Hirsch Recipe

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil

4 cups mixed salad greens, such as mesclun, frisee & arugula

1/2 pound green asparagus, (about 16 pieces) ends peeled 

2 vine ripen tomatoes, quartered and seeded

4 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced thin

1 cup canned cannellini white beans, washed & drained

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup Calamata olives, pitted and sliced 

juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon zest

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

Fresh ground black pepper

8 Crostini 

Prepare the asparagus by cutting the stems from the tips. Depending on the size of the stems cut into two inch pieces. Reserve the tips. 

Preheat a sauté pan. Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, garlic and stems. Cover and cook the stems for 3-4 minutes until they are slightly tender. Add in asparagus tips, cover and cook two minutes. Add in tomatoes, olives and beans only to slightly warm, do not cook.

For the dressing:

Use remaining Olive oil

Lemon Juice & zest

Fresh thyme

Fresh ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients.

Plate the greens, followed by the warm asparagus, tomatoes and bean mixture. Top the salad with feta cheese and dressing. Serve Crostini on side.

Crostini

8 slices of baguette bread, slice thin on bias

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese

fresh ground black pepper

4 Fresh basil leaves

Top bread slices with olive oil, cheese and pepper. Toast 4-5 minutes in a 375 degree oven until light brown. Top lightly with torn basil leaves.

Optional serving suggestion: may be served with grilled calamari, shrimp or scallops.

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