1 bunch asparagus
1/4 to 1/2 red onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Italian dressing
salt and pepper
1. Chop off bottom of arugula stems leaving a little stem and all leaf. Some arugula is very dirty, so let it sit in a bowl of water in the sink. Once the dirt settles, grab the arugula and hold it while discarding all water and dirt accumulated in bowl. Repeat this about 4 times to get all the grit out. Rinse when done and place on a paper towel to dry.
2. Chop off bottom stems of asparagus and steam for about 6 minutes or until slightly tender. When done steaming asparagus blanch it by running under cold water immediately. Cut asparagus into quarter pieces.
3. Pull apart the endive leaf by leaf and rinse under cold water. Pat endive dry and slice into 1-inch pieces. Slice red onion into thin slices.
4. Mix arugula, asparagus, endive and red onion together.
5. Mix dressing with oil and vinegar. Do not put dressing on salad until ready to serve. Arugula shrinks and loses it’s crispness with dressing on it. When ready to serve put on dressing and toss a few times. Serve immediately.
6. ENJOY! – Bitter is better…..
Fresh arugula is very gritty and dirty. I can’t believe that I eat it. I was a fussy and picky eater growing up. I ate nothing.
When I was first married I lived next door to a woman who was an unbelievable gardener. Joan had her own organic compost for cultivating her garden. An organic compost consists of things that you would normally throw in the garbage that actually enriches the soil. Her compost contained broken eggshells and used coffee grinds and other natural refuse, which I don’t know too much about. Joan was very concerned with the environment and making less garbage for the earth. So, she put the garbage into her soil and created a spectacular garden. She had a small piece of property that she grew her garden. In this little bit of green she had strawberries, green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and even pumpkins. I can’t remember everything she grew but whatever it was she was successful in growing it. Joan was a good friend and she had many parties that included my family. At these parties and in her daily life she served what she grew in the garden. I wouldn’t touch that homegrown lettuce then. My motto was lettuce should be only iceberg, wrapped in cellophane and come from the supermarket. Joan’s lettuce looked like weeds to me and it was full of dirt. My husband loved it because he grew up eating everything from his grandmother’s garden.
For years I wouldn’t eat any salad with foreign lettuce in it, only iceberg lettuce for me. I think I started to change because my neighbor and good friend Laurie only ate the healthy, weedy looking lettuce. Laurie took the place of Joan as my best friend who lives next door. Joan moved to Michigan and I moved next to Laurie. Laurie was the person who persuaded me to recycle long before recycling was done in my neighborhood by the city. Laurie has always been environmentally conscience. She had me bringing my recyclables to the city dump to keep the plant green and healthy. She also included my family for many, many parties and dinners. Laurie turned me into a weedy, healthy lettuce eater against my wishes. I held out for a long time with my iceberg lettuce only philosophy. I started slowly experimenting on my own. A time after that Laurie invited me to dinner and I brought this arugula asparagus salad. She loved it. I may be even healthier than Laurie or Joan. Nah, just kidding. I don’t come close to these two women as far as the environment is concerned.
What is good enough for the environment is good enough for you!