Sweet, tart, and salty — the flavors of this light, light salad supper are harmoniously balanced. Because the dressing contains no oil, the salad tastes like a pure indulgence, but it is very good for you. It’s a great way to celebrate the early harvests of asparagus and greens.
1 1/2 pounds asparagus (about 30 medium-thick spears), trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1 package (3.75 ounces) bean threads or cellophane noodles
1 pound crabmeat, picked over
1 carrot, grated
2 scallions, white and tender green parts, trimmed and chopped
4 cups arugula leaves or watercress
4 cups mesclun or baby lettuce
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/3 cup chopped peanuts, toasted
3/4 cup fresh lime juice (approximately 6 limes)
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1–2 jalapeño chiles, minced
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
- Steam the asparagus over boiling water until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain; plunge into cold water to stop the cooking; drain.
- Soak the noodles in hot tap water to cover for about 5 minutes. Drain.
- To make the dressing, combine the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Mix in the garlic, chile, ginger, and pepper to taste.
- Pour about 1/2 cup of the dressing over the noodles. Toss to mix and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the crab, carrot, and scallions. Add about 1/2 cup of the dressing. Toss to mix. Set aside to allow the flavors to blend, at least 15 minutes, or longer in the refrigerator.
- Just before serving, toss the arugula, mesclun, cilantro, and mint in a large bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the remaining dressing and toss to mix. Add more dressing if desired.
- To serve, line a platter or individual plates with the greens mix. Top with the noodles, then the crab mixture, and finally the asparagus. Sprinkle on the peanuts and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.
This recipe and many more fresh veggie recipes can be found in Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman. The book is organized by season and designed to bring out the very best in whatever produce is peaking now. It's a great resource for locavores and gardeners who love to cook.
Enjoy your Memorial Day!
— Kristy L. Rustay, Marketing Manager