Eating healthier has led to some wonderful discoveries such as this recipe from Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook for Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Salad with Toasted Pecans, Blue Cheese, and Red Chile-Mustard Vinaigrette. Now I know that 's quite a mouth full and it sounds a bit daunting with all those ingredients listed in the title, but trust me this is well worth any and all efforts. I liked it so much I made it a couple of times a week at the start until Peter asked for a reprieve.
Roasted vegetables have become a staple in our eating regime these days - roasted with olive oil, and a little salt and pepper, asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and tomatoes are all delicious, and a nice variation from steamed vegetables that have been an old standby for years.
Toasted nuts are also permanent reidents in our cupboards these days - toasted almonds and walnuts go in to our 0% yogurt in the morning, toasted pecans and pine nuts are saved for special recipes like this one.
Since we're eating so many salads these days, I've been scouring my cookbook collection for variations for vinaigrettes and Bobby Flay has come up with several that have lots of flavor and dress a salad beautifully. It just so happens that this red chile-mustard vinaigrette has become one of our favorites and we're keeping a jar in the fridge all the time.
Roasted Asparagus & Mushroom Salad
20 medium spears of asparagus, trimmed
1 pound assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, and oyster, coarsely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces mesclun greens (or romaine)
Red Chile-Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)
¼ cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 425℉.
Spread out the asparagus and mushrooms on separate baking sheets and drizzle each with 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms on the bottom rack of the oven and the asparagus on the top rack. Roast the asparagus until just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes, depending on size. Roast the mushrooms, stirring once, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Combine the mesclun/romaine greens and mushrooms in a large bowl and toss with about half of the dressing. Mound the mixture on 4 plates and top each with 5 asparagus spears. Drizzle with more of the dressing and sprinkle with the cheese and pecans.
Red Chile-Mustard Vinaigrette
(Makes about ¾ cup)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil
Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, ancho powder, honey, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. This can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated.