This is such a beautiful, fresh, delicious salad. I love the creaminess of the avocados mixed with the acidity of the tomatoes and the nuttiness of the asparagus, all with a tangy Dijon mustard dressing… mmmm…. so so good.
1/2-1 lb asparagus (I only use 1/2 but original recipe calls for 1 lb)
1 large Haas avocado
1 pint cherry tomatoes (or any other small, colorful tomato, original recipe calls for 6 cups which is a little much for me. I found 1 pt to be perfect but it’s up to you. Maybe if they were fresh from my garden I would increase that amount)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
a dash of red wine vinegar (optional, I like the tanginess)
Asparagus – Start by washing. Hold one spear of asparagus. Starting at the cut end, bend slightly until it snaps (should be about 2 inches or so above the cut). This will eliminate the tough, woody section of the asparagus and leave you with the most tender part. Now, lay your snapped asparagus alongside the rest of the bunch. Cut the bunch even with your 1 snapped spear.
Placeenough water in a medium skillet with to slightly coat the bottom of the pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Place spears in water and cover again. Steam for 3-5 minutes or until your spears are tender but still firm. I used very small spears and 3 minutes was perfect. If you use the thicker spears you will need to increase that time.
Afer they reach the desired tenderness, drain and immediately submerge in cold water to stop the cooking process. Once chilled, drain on paper towels until dry. Cut into bite-sized chunks (I quartered each spear).
Mix all ingredients for dressing with a whisk or a small food processor. Pour over asparagus and tomatoes and toss.
Cut open avocado and de-seed (If you need tips on this, see 7-layer dip recipe). Run knife through avocado all the way to the peel making 1/2 inch squares (see picture above). Run a large spoon between peel and flesh to remove the avocado.
Add avocado right before serving because it will be at its brightest color and flavor. Separate cubes with your fingers then toss slightly into salad. The avocados break up very easily so you don’t want to be stirring very much.
This recipe does not fare well for left overs due to the avocado’s speedy oxidation, so if you don’t think you will be eating it all in one sitting, you may want to only mix half the tomatoes and asparagus with half of the avocado and seal the other half of the avocado (with seed in tact) in a plastic bag. This way your avocado will still be fresh the next day for leftovers.