Asparagus Salad and Radish Salad in Bacon Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: Radishes and asparagus dance into the market the same time of year. Pretty and peppery, radishes add color and zip to the lush, tender spears. Inspired by the classic spinach salad, bacon vinaigrette gets a second life here. From Beth Dooley.

• 4 slices thick cut bacon

• 2 tbsp. cider vinegar

• 1 shallot, finely minced

• 1 tbsp. coarse Dijon mustard

• 2 tbsp. hazelnut or extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed

• 1 lb. asparagus, woody ends snapped or cut off

• 1/2 c. quartered red radishes

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Crumble and set aside. Reserve the rendered fat in the pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallot and mustard, and then carefully pour the bacon fat through a fine mesh sieve into the vinegar mixture, whisking until smooth and emulsified (discard the contents of the sieve). Taste the vinaigrette and if it’s too strong, add a little more oil to taste.

Fill half of a large skillet with water, set over high heat, and bring to a rolling boil. Set the asparagus in the skillet so the tips rest on the side of the pan and the spears are immersed. Cook the asparagus until a sharp paring knife pierces the fattest part of the spear without resistance, about 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the size of the stalks.

Remove the skillet and drain the asparagus in a colander and refresh with cold running water. Set the asparagus aside on a clean dish towel or paper towel and pat dry.

Arrange the asparagus and the radishes on a serving plate and pour the dressing over all. Scatter the crumbled bacon over the top. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 145 Fat 13 g Sodium 210 mg

Carbohydrates 3 g Saturated fat 4 g Added sugars 0 g

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 15 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: ½ high-fat protein, 2 fat.