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Braised White Asparagus and Leek Salad

May 14, 2011 by Joan Nova in Recipe Development, Salads, Seafood, Small Meals with BIG FLAVORS, Spanish/Tapas, Vegetables | 11 Comments

gen·e·sis/ˈjenəsis/Noun: The origin or mode of formation of something.

People are always interested in recipe development…the how and why of how a dish came to be. I find it fascinating.

I have to give credit for the origin of  “braised asparagus and leek salad” to Buccán, an upscale bistro in Palm Beach, which is where I first tasted the combination. And the thought of it lingered with me.

When I was planning a menu for a tapas-style dinner party, I decided this salad would be a unique and perfect base for the first course…and it was. (Note the usage of the word ‘base’.) 

Since I had no idea what went into the Chef’s recipe (besides asparagus and leeks), I did the FOODalogue thing…I took the germ of an idea and started building on it. And, lucky me, white asparagus are in season.


Taste Test: This is a combination and method that I don’t think I would have come by on my own, but I cannot express how well the 2 vegetables marry and how delicious the braising made them. The texture was interesting and unexpected — and it was surprisingly flavorful. Nothing more was required on the plate, but…

Remember I said it was a “base” for the first course?

I served it with:
Shrimp Ajillo (shrimp marinated in olive oil, a little s+p, a lot of smoked paprika and minced garlic).
Fennel Gazpacho
Parsley Romesco* (parsley, almonds, olive, S+P, garlic, lemon juice, drizzle of honey).

*totally superfluous I must admit :)


NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Beautiful presentation Joan. Your lucky guests must have been impressed. I like the vermouth in it. Very Julia Child.
    My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Barefoot Contessa’s Mexican Chicken Soup &amp Our Very Own Homemade Tortilla Strips for GarnishMy Profile

  2. norma says:

    It is a beautiful presenttaion and great summer dish. Love the gazpacho,

  3. bellini says:

    This recupe shines in true FOODalogue style Joan.

  4. Randy K says:

    Definitely must be tried at home. Thanks for the recipe, Joan.
    Randy K recently posted..How to Clean Your MicrowaveMy Profile

  5. Sounds like a really great combination of ingredients. I will definitely give it a try. Thanks Joan.
    sandra axelrod recently posted..The Short Ribs and the China CapMy Profile

  6. Mmmmm! I love your thought process Joan and how you develop these masterpieces! Thank you.

  7. Nuria says:

    Hola preciosa!!!! Thanks for commenting… so happy to see you are still here al pie del cañon (we say). A wonderful dish: so light and still so sabroso.
    Big kiss darling!

  8. EATnLISTEN says:

    Looks tasty! Thanks for sharing your recipe, I love leeks and asparagus.

  9. Bren says:

    oh how ive come to love white asparagus when the cooking group hosted by 5 Star has to use it last month. It was so incredible. I’ll stick to green asparagus for the most part but it’s always fun working with something that’s 1: out of your norm staples and 2: great for your expanding repertoire. And leeks? the pairing is beautiful.
    Bren recently posted..Pressure-Cooking Tips Revisited South Florida Woman Loses Leg in Explosion AccidentMy Profile

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