Asparagus Goat Cheese Salad


The summer rain has been getting to me these days. . . perhaps it's because I cannot seem to find the motivation to venture outside and try restaurants, which cause more angst than enjoyment on stormy nights. However, the weather has excused me to cook more at home -- the kitchen is a luxury I once took for granted. I love the time inside more and more each day. This salad recipe was created a few nights ago when in search of a green salad to kick off a hearty lamb chop dinner. The combination of leafy vegetables, sweet crunchy nuts, and melt-in-your-mouth cheese is rich and utterly fantastic. For an entree portion, I recommend a grilled piece of salmon.

Stay dry if you are in rainy weather as well. The sun better come out soon . . . I'm ready to picnic!


Makes 4-6 servings

30 asparagus spears, washed and trimmed 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 bag mixed greens 1 cup candied pecans 4 ounces honey goat cheese 1/4 cup orange juice 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon white wine 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard Salt and pepper

1. Mix together asparagus with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat in a large skillet over medium high heat until lightly charred and tender crisp. Set aside.

2. Combine orange juice and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low for 5 minutes.

3. Combine wine, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper. While whisking, gradually add 5 tablespoons olive oil. Stir in orange juice mix.

4. Mix greens with vinaigrette and divide among plates. Top each plate with asparagus, pecans and crumbled goat cheese.