Warm Asparagus Salad
Recipe from Midwest Living

This warm vegetable salad is filled with a flavorful blend of goat cheese, dates, pecans, and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Warm Asparagus Salad

by 2  people

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  • 1   pound 
    fresh asparagus spears or one 10-ounce package frozen asparagus spears
  • 2   tablespoons 
    bottled Italian salad dressing
    Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8   cups 
    mesclun or one 5-ounce package baby mixed salad greens
  • 1/4  cup 
    snipped pitted whole dates
  • 4   ounces 
    crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4  cup 
    pecans pieces, toasted
  • 1   
    large tomato, seeded and chopped (optional)
    Balsamic Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/4  cup 
    balsamic vinegar
  • 2   tablespoons 
    packed brown sugar
  • 1   
    clove garlic
  • 1/4  teaspoon 
    kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon 
    freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2  cup 
    olive oil

Snap off and discard woody bases from fresh asparagus. Cut fresh asparagus into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Add water to just below the bottom of the basket. Bring water to boiling. Evenly arrange fresh or frozen asparagus in steamer basket. Cover and reduce heat; steam for 2 minutes. Remove. Arrange asparagus in a baking pan. Drizzle Italian salad dressing over asparagus. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. If you like, broil asparagus 4 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool slightly.
To serve, arrange mesclun on 4 large salad plates or 4 dinner plates. Sprinkle dates on top of the mesclun. Sprinkle with goat cheese and pecans. Arrange asparagus on top. If you like, top with chopped tomatoes. Drizzle with some of the Balsamic Vinaigrette. Serve immediately. Makes 4 side-dish servings.
Balsamic Vinaigrette
In a food processor or blender, combine balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper. Cover and process or blend until smooth. With processor or blender running, gradually add olive oil and process or blend until combined. Serve immediately or cover and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. Stir just before serving. Makes about 3/4 cup.

Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 493, Fat, total (g) 41, chol. (mg) 13, sat. fat (g) 9, carb. (g) 26, fiber (g) 4, pro. (g) 9, vit. A (IU) 437, vit. C (mg) 21, sodium (mg) 446, calcium (mg) 91, iron (mg) 2, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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