Asparagus, Red Pepper, and Spinach Salad

Here’s my inspiration (this time from America’s Test Kitchen The New Best Recipe), as well as my personal editing (I’m taking out these parts of the published recipe, and adding in these parts), based on what I actually have on hand:

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1 by 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed thorugh a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 6 ounces baby spinach (about 8 cups)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, cut into small chunks

Preparation:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke; add the bell pepper and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes, stirring only once after 1 miniute.  Add the asparagus, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook until the asparagus is browned and almost tender, about 2 minutes, stirring only once after 1 minute.  Stire in the shallots and cook until softened and the asparagus is tender-crisp, about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to a large plate and cool 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, the vinegar, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper together in a medium bowl until combined.  In a large bowl, toss the spinach with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and divide the spinach among salad plates.  Toss the asparagus mixture with the remaining dressing and place a portion of it over the spinach; divide the goat cheese among the salads and serve.

The Verdict:

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