Simple Asparagus and Cherry Tomato Appetizer
If you are looking for healthy appetizer ideas, the following easy asparagus recipe should give you food for thought. Combining the nutrition of asparagus and tomatoes with the flavor of green pesto and a bit of greenery, this simple appetizer is a breeze to make. You can choose your own salad leaves and fresh herbs for this; pretty much anything will go. Try parsley, dill weed, cilantro, or even basil for the herbs. You can buy a package of mixed salad leaves and use some of those if you want some different kinds of leaves. Do not use dried herbs in this recipe; they will not look or taste anywhere near as good as fresh ones.
The asparagus in this appetizer recipe is sliced thinly lengthwise. This really cuts down the cooking time and it means you can serve four (or six) strips on one plate, rather than one long stalk. It just looks better. Leave the tips intact because they already have a shorter cooking time than the stalks. If the spears are thinly sliced and the tips are left whole, the whole thing will have the same cooking time. Pierce the stalk after a few minutes to see if the asparagus is cooked. If it is, you can assume the tips are also tender.
Do you have to peel asparagus is a question a lot of people ask and the answer is that it depends. If you are using really fat spears, you might want to peel them. If you are using thin or medium ones, it is not necessary. White asparagus should always be peeled because it has a bitter skin and you can use a vegetable peeler to do this. Green asparagus is usually the best one to use. It is certainly the most colorful choice for this asparagus salad recipe anyway.
- 6 trimmed asparagus spears
- 6 halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon green pesto
- Handful of salad leaves and fresh herbs (your choice), for garnish
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Cut the asparagus stalks into thin slices lengthwise, leaving the tips intact (and attached).
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, and then add some salt.
- Blanch the asparagus strips for 2 minutes or until they are crisp-tender, then remove them with a slotted spoon.
- Arrange the asparagus on serving plates and add the cherry tomato halves.
- Add some salad leaves and fresh herbs and dot the pesto on the plates.
- Grind some salt and pepper over the asparagus appetizer and serve warm.
This is a bright and colorful appetizer recipe and it is so easy to put together. All you need to do is cook the asparagus briefly, sliced the tomatoes and divide some greens and pesto between the serving plates. You can make this in advance if you like and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a couple of hours. It is nice served while the asparagus is still warm but it is also good served chilled. This recipe could also be served as a side dish for fish or chicken or you could leave out the salad leaves and toss the rest with warm pasta to make a healthy dinner.
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