Asparagus a la Vinagreta
Have I mentioned that we STILL don't have wifi? It has been a constant battle with the internet company and they don't quite seem to understand our frustration and borderline fury with them. And so, my roommates and I spend another evening at a café sipping cappucinos and doing our respective business online. It's ten fifteen right now and a perfect seventy two degrees so I can't complain too much. I brought this asparagus dish to a dinner with some of my international friends before seeing Eat Pray Love at San Sebastián's International Film Festival! Obviously I waited for two hours outside of the cinema to get a perfect view of Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem walking down the red carpet :) This asparagus and vinagrette dish was inspired by a one I saw at a local pinxtos bar. I'd been wanting to make a vegetable dish in order to offset the gelato I've been eating. Anyway, my friends and roommates especially loved this dish. Its a really good combination of textures and temperatures because the asparagus are roasted in the oven and the vinagrette is cold. Plus, if your kitchen is more equipt than mine is right now this dish only takes about fifteen minutes!
One bunch fresh asparagus (approximately 20 spears)
3 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 small onion
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Hey, guess what? The oven works! Took me an extra second to realize it was in celsius rather than fahrenheit but I got it. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and trim about an inch and a half off of the bottom of each asparagus spear. Lay in a baking or casserole dish and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Thinly slice two cloves of garlic and sprinkle them over the asparagus. Bake in the oven for ten minutes.
As for the vinagrette, if we had a food processor or even a blender in our apartment this probably would have resembled more of a vinagrette and less of a salsa but were compromising here! All the chopping I had to do made this considerably more time consuming but if you have a food processor or blender it will be super simple! Core and seed the tomatoes and dice as finely as humanly possible. Do the same with the red bell pepper and onion. Since your using raw onion you might want to cater this recipe to the amount of raw onion taste you can handle. I, for one, love onions in any way shape or form so I used half of an onion and the flavor was definitely there. Place all of the vegetables in a bowl and, using a cheese grater or microplane, grate the remaining clove of garlic. Add the olive oil and squeeze the juice of the one lemon into the bowl. Watch out for seeds. Add the teaspoon of dried paprika, stir and taste. Season with salt and pepper and you're done! When the asparagus comes out of the oven, place on a serving dish and top with vinagrette. Enjoy!