Classic Cold Poached Asparagus in Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yield | 25 servings |

  • 6 lbs fresh asparagus
  • 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
  • 4 small shallots, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup country-style Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 2 lemons

| Preparation | For slender spears, under ½-inch in diameter, wash asparagus under cold water. For fatter spears, thinly peel spears from 1-inch below the tip to bottom. Place spears on cutting board with tips aligned and cut woody bottoms off, keeping each spear the same length.

Prepare one or two ice baths in large bowls or pots. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Add asparagus spears to boiling water and poach for 1 minute. Remove spears to the ice bath. When cooled, move to paper towels to drain. Repeat until all spears are prepared.

Place kosher salt to a small deep bowl. Add garlic cloves and mash the cloves into the salt with the tines of a fork. Mix well with the salt. Add the shallots and stir to blend.

Put the dijon mustard into a small jar with a lid. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Cover, then shake the jar to emulsify the vinaigrette.

Arrange asparagus spears on a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.