Today's Cook the Book recipe, excerpted from Wine Bar Food, calls for—gasp!—jarred asparagus. While that may seem strange given the current abundance of fresh spring produce, hear me out: these aren't any old canned vegetables. Jarred white asparagus is a Spanish delicacy, valued for its sweet-tart taste and smooth texture. In this traditional salad from Barcelona, the spears are dressed in a chunky sherry vinaigrette brightened with fresh peppers, briny capers, and chopped hard-boiled egg.
The best jarred asparagus comes from the northern region of Navarra, which is also known for its rosé wines. This dish would pair perfectly with a glass of pink.
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- Yield:4 as a tasting portion or 2 as an appetizer or side dish
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1 hard-cooked egg, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, preferably salted, rinsed and chopped
- 1 jar white asparagus, 8 to 10 very large spears, in water, preferably imported from Spain
Combine the vinegar and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a small bowl. In a slow stream, whisk the oil into the vinegar. Add the bell peppers, shallot, egg, and capers and combine. Allow the vegetables and dressing to marinate for 15 minutes.
Lay the asparagus on a serving dish. Spoon the marinated vegetables and vinaigrette over the asparagus and serve.