asparagus & buffalo mozzerella, the makings of a beautiful salad
Serendipity, such a lovely sounding word and such a happy occurrence when you find it. I have to say it’s definitely up there as one of my favourite words and I just love when I get a chance to use it as happened over the weekend just past.
The story began a few months ago. My Irishman and I were comparing our salad spinners, as you do, and we both agreed that his was far superior. While my little fella did a reasonable job, the spinning mechanism just didn’t allow it to get anywhere near the speeds and oh-so-critical centrifugal forces of his. I’ll be honest, it’s hard to admit but at the time I had salad spinner envy.
Then a few weeks ago, after a run through the dishwasher, the bowl of the Irishman’s killer salad spinner came out all warped so that it was no longer able to perform its spinning duties. We were both pretty concerned about the situation but reasoned that if we put the bowl back in for another wash and then pulled it out while it was still hot and moulded it back to shape that all would be fixed.
But it was not meant to be, as the bowl rather uncooperatively broke into pieces when we tried our fix it strategy. Luckily my Irishman had the foresight not to throw it all away and in the cupboard his bowl-less spinner sat until this weekend when I experienced random salad spinner issues myself. Completely without warning, the spinning mechanism on my lid ceased up. And while I was able to get some movement into it, things were looking pretty dire in salad washing land.
That was until the Irishman had a brilliant idea. Our salad spinners were the same brand, maybe, just maybe we could use his old top on my bowl. It was a long shot but we really had nothing to loose and wouldn’t you know it, a bit of serendipity came our way in the form of a salad spinning composite, fully functioning better than ever and just in time for salad seasonâ€¦ all good things.
asparagus & buffalo mozerella salad with caper dressing
Inspired by a salad from the Australian Gourmet Traveller website, a fantastic little refernce point when you’re looking for something inspiring to cook for dinner or when you can’t find a recipe you remember reading in the magazine.
The dressing is the surprise star of this salad show. Fresh and zesty and it-just-has-to-be-good-for-you vibrantly green coloured it brings everything together. I haven’t experimented yet but I’m thinking it would make a lovely dressing for potato salad or even as an accompaniment to white fleshed fish.
1 very large bunch asparagus (approx 500g)
1/3 loaf sourdough bread
Â¼ C extra virgin olive oil+ 1T
Â½ bunch flat leaf parley, leaves picked
Â½ bunch chives, finely chopped
1T capers in salt, well washed
2T lemon juice, or to taste
2 handfuls wild rocket leaves
2 handfuls watercress sprigs
200g ball buffalo mozzarella
2T pinenuts, toasted
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and preheat oven to 200C. Snap the woody ends off the base of the asparagus and peel the lower halves if you feel like it. Simmer asparagus for 2-6 minutes or until just past al dente. Drain and refresh in cold water.
Meanwhile tear bred into bite sized chunks, removing any tough crust and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and bake for approx 10mins or until dried out a little.
Place parsley leaves in a strainer and pour over boiling water to blanch. Refresh under cold water then squeeze dry and chop finely. Place in a small saucepan with capers and remaining oil and heat until it starts to sizzle. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice and chives and season.
Place drained asparagus in a large salad bowl with toasted bread and leaves and drizzle over 2/3 of the dressing. Toss until well combined and then tear mozzarella into chunks and scatter over along with the pine nuts. Drizzle with remaining dressing and allow to stand for 10mins or so to allow the bread can soak up some of your dressing. Just enough time to pack up your picnic gear and head to your favourite harboursideÂ picnic spot.