CIA Recipe: Chilled Asparagus with Mustard Herb Vinaigrette

Chilled Asparagus with Mustard Herb Vinaingrette

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Virginia Muré
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Hyde Park, NY – One of the earliest vegetables to appear each spring is asparagus. In today's marketplace it is available almost year-round, but truly tender and delicious asparagus is only found in the spring and preferably grown locally.

Sold by size, based on the thickness of the stalk, this versatile vegetable can range from colossal or jumbo to standard to small or pencil.

"Look for uniformity in size when you buy a bunch to ensure uniform cooking times," says CIA Chef Fred Brash. "You also want tight closed tips with nothing open or seeding, and you'll want to avoid shriveling stalks, or excessive woodiness at the base."

Asparagus comes in three varieties: green, white, and purple. Green is the most popular in this country. White has always been preferred primarily in Europe and is gaining ground in the United States. Purple is more rare and is sometimes only found at farm stands. A member of the lily family, which also includes leeks and garlic, asparagus is highly nutritious and delicious in many preparations. Some cooks like to peel it, but generally that is only needed with thicker stalks.

Standard-size asparagus works best for the following recipe adapted from The Culinary Institute of America Vegetables cookbook (Lebhar-Friedman, 2007), available for purchase at bookstores nationwide or online.


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CIA's chilled asparagus with mustard herb vinaigrette. (Photo credit: CIA/Ben Fink)
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Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 45,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

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