Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Roasted Asparagus & Tomato Salad with Basil-Mint Aioli

I served asparagus this weekend with our Easter feast.  I wanted to do something a little different so decided that aioli would be the perfect complement.  In fact, I was inspired to do this from a salad we had recently while out to dinner at a new joint in downtown St. Paul.  They offered what they called a Farmers Market Salad that changed daily with the market offerings and what was fresh.  The night we went it consisted of roasted fingerling potatoes, asparagus, and arugula in a tarragon aioli topped with feta cheese.  Whoooaa.  Fantastic. I've been thinking about that salad ever since......

So, there I was, Easter on my coattails, and a menu that had yet to be constructed.  I had to do an aioli with the asparagus, just had to.  But instead of tarragon I wanted to test out basil and mint, that combination has always intrigued me.  I made this aioli the traditional way with raw egg - now, I know that freaks people out, but there's really no harm in it.  I used the yolks, not the whole egg.  If you truly can't get over it then use mayo instead.

The aioli with the asparagus was outstanding.  Simple, flavorful, fresh.  It was gobbled up by the crew.  I had some aioli leftover along with an extra bunch of asparagus, and about a cup of baby heirloom tomatoes hanging out in the fridge - what did I do with it all, you ask?  I made this roasted salad - and topped it with feta, just like they did at the restaurant.  A great way to use up ingredients!  And a healthy meatless Monday meal.  I'm afraid to eat asparagus any other way....except if there's a poached egg involved....

Get your spring on!

Roasted Asparagus & Tomato Salad with Basil-Mint Aioli
Recipe by A Toast to Taste
Inspired by Black Sheep Pizza

Ingredients Needed:
1 bunch asparagus
1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes (grape or cherry are fine, too)
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
feta cheese, crumbled

1 egg yolk
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
juice from half a lemon
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
1 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil and top it with a baking rack.  Rinse asparagus and tomatoes, pat dry, and place on rack.  Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 15 minutes.

While veggies are roasting, prepare the aioli.  In bowl of food processor, add yolk, garlic, mustard, salt, lemon juice, basil, and mint.  Pulse a few times to combine well.  With the processor on, slowly pour in the olive oil.  Mix until well combined or until your desired thickness.

Toss veggies with aioli, top with feta, and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. This is absolutely gorgeous, what a great photo and unique recipe. You make it looks so pretty! I would like to have been your guest for Easter! Yum!


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