Broccoli has long been the main choice for sturdy, green veggies in a creamy dressing, but asparagus is a worthy contender. While it's typically used as a side dish to accompany a meal, the gentle, crisp texture of asparagus also really thrives in mayo-based salads. Grassy with a tinge of bitterness, asparagus is often roasted or sauteed to bring out the natural sweetness that lies under the surface, but for salads we recommend a quick blanching technique. When covered in a creamy, tangy dressing, you'll find that asparagus is at its peak deliciousness. The juxtaposition of a thick, salty dressing and crisp, earthy vegetables only makes the mild flavor of asparagus stand out more.
Asparagus possesses a sweeter edge over broccoli, which means it brings a better balance to the sour flavor of the mayo. It's easy to sub it into a broccoli salad to create a tart, herbaceous dish for any occasion. After rinsing the asparagus, blanch it for around three minutes. This is when asparagus will hit its sweet spot — bright green and lacking its naturally raw, bitter flavor. Move it immediately into an ice cold bath to lock in the flavor and leave it there for three more minutes. Chop the asparagus into bite-sized pieces and combine it with mayo, chopped bacon, minced red onions, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and shredded cheddar.
A Touch Of Green Goes A Long Way
Slip asparagus into this creamy macaroni salad for a refreshing bite of grassy flavor. Not only does the asparagus deliver spots of bright, green flavor, but it provides a crisp addition to the tender macaroni and creamy, piquant dressing. Season the blanched spears with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne if you like a kick before tossing it into this rich salad.
Give your run-of-the-mill chicken salad a new flair with bites of asparagus inside. By swapping out the apple for asparagus in this crisp and creamy chicken salad, the vegetable will bring a mild, earthy flavor rather than a sharper, tart one. Spice it up with red onions, fresh cilantro, and slivers of toasted almonds, and serve this tasty chicken asparagus salad in a lettuce wrap for lighter fare or in between two buttery slices of a croissant for something more indulgent.
Cover asparagus in a creamy egg salad to give the vegetable a delicious textured dressing. After boiling and peeling the eggs, chop them up and toss with mayo, red wine vinegar, and a bit of Dijon mustard. Add in chopped chives and green onions and place it onto a bed of chopped asparagus.
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