Thursday, April 14, 2011

Asparagus Cups

I volunteered at an event and was blown away by some of the catering techniques. There were trays of beautifully blanched asparagus, sitting in crystal flutes with the most delicious dollop of hollondaise in the bottom. The idea was for people to socialise whilst holding their flutes, dipping, biting, sipping wine-  looking fabulous against the backdrop of Manhattan's skyline....well I don't know if this was the idea per se but it certainly seemed so.

I'm a bit less fancy. I still like the good stuff but with  a rustic twist. Eager to recreate the asparagus and dipping sauce idea I decided to scratch the fussy hollandaise and delicate crystal flutes and replace them with a super simple vinaigrette and jam jars. This resulted in something equally pretty but with an edge. If you're throwing a garden party or having a casual get together and are in need of some finger food ideas, this is a great dish that can be prepared hours in advance!

1 bushel asparagus
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Whisk lemon juice, dijon, olive oil, canola oil, sugar and salt together. Reserve. Blanch asparagus in salted boiling water (cook for 1-2 minutes, drain and place in an ice bath). Remove, pat dry.
Place a tablespoon of vinaigrette in a jam jar or any long flute and as much asparagus as you think looks pretty. Enjoy!

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