There is evidence that wild asparagus was eaten as early as 3,000 BC by both the Egyptians and Greeks. It was the Romans, however, that first cultivated asparagus and it is believed that Julius Caesar would often dine on warmed asparagus with melted butter. There are also stories of the Romans freezing asparagus in the Alps so it be eaten during the winter.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, asparagus basically disappeared from mention until the 16th century when King Louis the XIV of France set up a greenhouse to grow his beloved green vegetable. Interesting enough, asparagus grows for 3 years before it can be harvested and can also grow 6 inches in a single day.
Salade Froid Asperges aux Citron-Dijon Vinaigrette – Cold Asparagus Salad
- Gallon plastic freezer bag(s)
- Large bowl of ice water
- 1½ lb Asparagus spears, washed and root end trimmed
- 3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp Sherry or white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp Honey
- 1 pinch Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Put a large bowl of water and ice in the sink. Put 1 tsp salt, ¼ cup water, and trimmed asparagus in a plastic freezer bag ¾ sealed. Microwave for 3 minutes, drain out liquid and immediately submerge in the bowl with ice water. After 1 minute, drain in colander.
- In a covered container, add olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Cover and shake vigorously to emulsify.
- Drain asparagus, pat dry, put in a serving bowl or platter. Cover in vinaigrette. Put in refrigerator for 15 minutes or up-to 2 hours to let flavors meld. Serve.