I had a babysitter growing up who used to marvel at what a good eater I was. Evidently, as soon as she plopped me in the high chair I inhaled everything on the tray. It’s definitely true that I’ve always loved food. The only negative memory I have of it is the one time that same babysitter gave me a “bologna sandwich” that turned out to be made with olive loaf. When you’re three years old, that pretty much counts as a major trauma.
Owen, unfortunately, does not seem to have inherited my appetite. Alex recently tried to feed him some asparagus, and he basically acted like he had been poisoned. I know it’s normal, and we’ll keep trying new foods, but still. I couldn’t help remembering the first time I had asparagus, and how delicious I thought it was. My mom blanched it, tossed it with some melted butter, and–most importantly–squeezed a ton of fresh lemon juice over it just before serving.
I was thinking about my mom as I was making this dish. She is my #1 blog super fan! She’s also my food stylist. She is always bringing me new serving dishes, napkins, and placemats to use as props. Last week she gave me this platter, and I’m totally obsessed with it. It’s so pretty, and the perfect size for a side dish.
My mom loves citrus, fresh mint, and feta (which is optional in this salad–I photographed it without). Instead of blanching the asparagus, I roasted it, which brings out its sweetness and gives the tips a lovely, crunchy char. I was planning to use Marcona almonds or salted pistachios, but I couldn’t find them in the void that is my pantry cabinet. Feel free to use whatever nuts you prefer.
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large pink grapefruit
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Trim the ends from the asparagus and place the spears on a baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange in a single later and roast until bright green and tips are beginning to char, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, trim the ends from the grapefruit and then cut away the peel. Section the grapefruit oven a small bowl, catching the juices. Transfer the sections to a separate small bowl. Whisk the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the Dijon mustard into the grapefruit juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter. Top with the grapefruit sections, almonds, mint, and feta (if using). Drizzle with the dressing and serve.