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Asparagus salad with charred onion vinaigrette

Jamie Lauren
Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, San Francisco

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8 spears asparagus
2-3 tbsp. onion vinaigrette
7 oz. piece of burrata (substitute with buffalo mozzarella)
1 lb. wild arugula (substitute with regular arugula)
½ lb. speck, sliced thin (substitute with cured ham, ie: prosciutto/serrano)
Roasted red peppers (substitute with store-bought)
1 tsp. smoked extra virgin olive oil

Blanched asparagus
2 bunches large asparagus
Boiling water

Charred onion vinaigrette
2 red onions, sliced into thick rounds
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup olive oil
2 stems rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp. thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Marinated red peppers
2 whole red peppers
Olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup olive oil
4 cloves sliced garlic
6 basil leaves, roughly chopped
Salt to taste


Toss 8 spears of asparagus in the onion vinaigrette and season with salt.

Place the asparagus on the center of the plate and top with two large chunks of burrata. Top the cheese with a few slices of roasted red peppers.

Season the arugula with a light amount of the vinaigrette and salt and pepper and place on top of the asparagus.

Finish with a thinly sliced piece of speck and a drizzle of smoked olive oil.

Blanched asparagus
Clean the asparagus and peel from the top down to remove any fibrous parts.

In a large pot, heat the water and a generous amount of salt until boiling.

Add the asparagus and cook until tender, but still with a crunch in the center.

Shock in an ice water bath to prevent any further cooking.

Chill and reserve for the salad. This can be done ahead of time, but no more than a day in advance.

Charred onion vinaigrette
Marinate the onions in the vinegar, rosemary, thyme and half the olive oil overnight (or minimum 4-6 hours).

Season with salt and grill until they become black and soft, reserving the marinade.

Place the cooked onions back into the marinade and allow to sit another hour or so to make sure they are permeated with the vinegar and oil.

Roughly chop the onions and place back into the vinegar mixture.

Whisk in the rest of the oil into the onion-vinegar mixture and adjust seasoning with salt. The mixture should be thick, but have a little viscosity to it.

Marinated red peppers
Toss peppers with olive oil and salt. Place on a grill, or over an open flame and cook until they start to blacken. Once they become soft, place into either paper bag or empty container covered with plastic wrap (this creates steam, which makes the peppers easier to peel).

Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, basil and salt for marinade.

Peel the peppers and de-seed. Cut the peppers into 1” thick strips and toss with the marinade. Allow to sit for a minimum of 2 hours.

Serves 4

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