april 21, 2021
Cooking is my passion and my life. Even so, if you offered me a no-cook recipe, I am all in. Even in the dead of winter I’ve been known to eat homemade soup straight from the fridge, lazybones that I am when it comes to hunger versus effort. Today’s recipe for Asparagus Burrata Salad, with its base of bright and tart turmeric hummus, is for those days when you want fancy without the heat of the stove.This nifty trick from The Kitchn for microwaved asparagus has changed my spring veggie game. No steaming, no roasting and no boiling. Simply wrap salted asparagus in a moist kitchen towel (the recipe calls for paper towels, but my zero-waste sensibilities took over) and microwave on high for three minutes. The result is a crisp-tender asparagus spear with intact color and taste.
Using the Microwave for Something Other than Melting Butter
I have cooked asparagus in boiling water for Asparagus with Carrot Honey Vinaigrette and roasted the spears for Asparagus with Orange Mustard Vinaigrette and Asparagus with Smoky Yogurt. Microwaving takes over as favorite method hands down.
The turmeric hummus is a good make-ahead sauce and your fresh herb vinaigrette will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks. Early spring herbs at the ready were Italian parsley, oregano and garlic chives. Any tender herb will do here—avoid woody herbs like rosemary. Creamy burrata adds protein for a complete meal. I can see this as a light brunch or dinner on the deck.
Usually, the aromas emanating from a cozy working kitchen bewitch us before we see our meal. However, we eat with our eyes first. A colorful plate does wonders for the appetite. Green and yellow are the colors of nature, but in this case I couldn’t resist adding a brilliant dash of red with a scattering of pink peppercorns. This tiny berry adds both visual appeal and a pleasant bit of heat. Keep a jar in your pantry for color therapy when you crave fancy.
Happy spring and enjoy your simple salad surrounded by nature!
Asparagus and Burrata Salad
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes four servings
for herb vinaigrette :
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinaigrette
1 tablespoon creamy dijon mustard
pinches of fine sea salt and fine white pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
handful of fresh tender herbs like italian parsley, chives, oregano, chopped
for turmeric hummus:
15 ounce can chickpeas, liquid saved
1-2 large cloves garlic, zested on microplane
juice of one medium lemon
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
one pound asparagus, trimmed and rinsed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
four rounds of burrata cheese
fresh herb leaves
- For vinaigrette, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper; gradually whisk in olive oil, then add herbs—you should have about ¼ cup loose packed herbs once chopped.
- Vinaigrette may be made one week ahead; allow to come to room temperature at serving time.
- For hummus, process all ingredients in bowl of food processor (small may be better) and add reserved chickpea liquid (aquafaba) until smooth texture, scraping sides of bowl with spatula as you process in bursts – about 4 tablespoons total added liquid.
- Hummus may be made ahead several days.
- For asparagus, thoroughly wet clean kitchen towel and wring out most liquid; spread out towel and place asparagus spears side by side, sprinkle them with the kosher salt and roll up towel from one end to the next (it will look like an asparagus spiral}; place towel roll in microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes; unroll towel and let spears cool to room temperature.
- For salad, divide hummus into portions on four plates, top with asparagus and burrata, then drizzle vinaigrette over all.
- If desired, garnish with pink peppercorns and herb leaves.