Now for something a little bit different. A light refreshing salad to start off your meal on a hot Easter morning. It’s going to be near 80°F here on the Jersey Shore this weekend. If you look at this presentation, you could easily make this as a platter for your guest. When I was a country club chef, I served a seven course celebration of spring meal and featured this salad. It was a big hit.
Normally, I would not use fresh raspberries but would use a raspberry purée or frozen raspberries because they aren’t in season right now. I couldn’t resist these raspberries in the grocery store, they were incredible. Or you could omit the raspberries and serve the salad with any vinaigrette.
The grapefruit is sectioned into pieces and I have a tutorial so you can do this too. One time, I was helping a friend at an upscale catering business and I had to make 3,000 grapefruit sections for a wedding. You only get about 10-12 sections out of a grapefruit. You can do the math. Bottom-line, I did over 3,200 pieces because when you are catering it’s a good idea to have extra.
To blanch one bunch of asparagus, fill a sauce pot with 1 quart of water and 1 tablespoon of salt and place over high heat. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath in a bowl large enough to hold the whole bunch, plus water and ice. One quart of water and one quart of ice should be enough to cool this amount of asparagus. Now snap off the fibrous ends of your asparagus as illustrated in here. Once the water comes to a boil, plunge all of the asparagus into the water for 30 seconds. Best to get a timer ready before you plunge. A few extra seconds will overcook the asparagus and you want them to hold up to dipping. Use tongs to remove the asparagus after the 30 seconds and put them directly into the waiting ice bath. Allow them to chill for 2 minutes, swishing the water around a bit. Remove them to a towel to dry and set them out to be devoured with the dip prepared ahead of time.
Sectioning the grapefruit:
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh onion
- 3 Tbsp raspberry vinaigrette
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup good oil like Canola (extra-virgin olive oil may be too strong)
- 6 or 8 raspberries
Purée all ingredients with a hand blender or in a blender. Serve immediately with the asparagus and grapefruit. Keeps for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.