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I did asparagus recipes a few weeks ago, and I got notes back saying “I want to take advantage of asparagus season in a bigger way”! Of course, there’s only one or two weeks a year when you can really afford to go crazy with asparagus, and these are those weeks. Bring cold asparagus salads to pot-lucks, to barbecues, heck, throw your own spargelfest—that’s German for asparagus fest you know. The key is to make recipes where you cook the asparagus at one point, and serve it at another. Like how? Like this!
Bobby Flay’s Grilled Asparagus Salad with tomatoes, olives, and cheddar
The key to this dish is to grill the asparagus some night when you’re working the grill for another reason—say make a double or triple batch, throw the excess in the fridge, and then make the salad. Throw some grilled chicken on there for a nice quick dinner.
Thomas Keller’s Bouchon chilled asparagus with vinaigrette and eggs mimosa
This recipe is fussy – it’s Thomas Keller of the French Laundry, after all. But I like to use his vinaigrette and ideas and then just pile it all into an unfussy platter—cooked asparagus on the bottom, grated eggs on top, grated radishes as the crowning garnish. You can use this as a first course at a dinner party. Pour good chilled rosé wine and serve torn bread and butter. Fantastic.
Deborah Madison’s Sesame ginger soba noodle asparagus salad
A riff on sesame noodles, which are always a hit at summer potlucks. Use buckwheat soba noodles for a chewier, more interesting salad—and please note this salad can stand up infinitely to more and more vegetables, so just throw in whatever looks good.
Food 52’s Thai inspired asparagus salad
Lime juice, lemongrass, this recipe is like a Thai or Laotian laarb salad, but with asparagus, and it’s so flavor packed it’s nothing short of stunning. Add tofu cubes if you want more protein, or fried tofu cubes, and serve with a zippy Sauvignon Blanc.
CIA big batch chilled asparagus
No, this recipe is not from the spying CIA, but from the Culinary Institute of America CIA—and it really is the granddaddy of all chilled asparagus recipes. Asparagus, vinaigrette, serve. You can buy all the asparagus at the farmer’s market and make 20 pounds, and then you will make 80 people happy. This is something you can only do in high asparagus season, and it’s worth it.