The growing season in New Hampshire is quite short, so I try to utilize fresh, local ingredients when they are available. Already we have enjoyed beet greens, fiddleheads, strawberries, cherries, rhubarb, and spinach from the farm near our house. I know that in the coming weeks there will be more variety, including blueberries, squash, and much more.
As I wrote last Monday, my husband and I enjoyed a five-course meal on a recent weekend. After my first course of Capocolla Crisps, I followed that with the third course of asparagus and pea salad. Knowing that both of these ingredients were available at the local farm, they practically were begging to be used together in the same dish. With high temps and high humidity, a salad would be refreshing and tasty as the middle course.
I wanted the salad to be creamy; I had this vision of a silken dressing. However, I didn’t want it to be heavy with mayonnaise. Thus, I went to one of my go-to ingredients: Greek yogurt. Full of protein, low in calorie (if chosen carefully), and offering a tangy base, I think that Greek yogurt can be used in so many recipes.
I made enough of this salad for two, allowing it to sit for about an hour. I’m not sure if allowing it to sit longer would make the flavors stronger or if it would make the vegetables soggy. Next time I will need to make a bigger batch in order to find out. It was so tasty that I definitely would be glad to eat it a few days in a row.
Asparagus & Pea Salad
6 stalks asparagus
1/2 cup peas (freshly shelled are best)
2 Tb. walnuts
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 Tb. sugar
2 Tb. chopped fresh chives
salt & pepper
Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Add to boiling water, and cook for two minutes. While cooking, fill a large bowl with ice and water. Remove asparagus from pot with a spider, and transfer to ice water. When all asparagus is removed, add peas and cook for one minute. Transfer peas to ice water using spider.
Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Dice walnuts, and add to pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted. Remove from heat.
Remove asparagus and peas from ice water and place on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
In a medium-sized bowl combine yogurt, sugar, chives, salt, and pepper. Add asparagus, peas, and walnuts to sauce, and stir well. Refrigerate for an hour. Divide between two serving bowls and enjoy.