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Green Salad with Asparagus, Crispy Prosciutto and Mustard Vinaigrette

It’s hard to choose what to send you, since the markets are filled with the most gorgeous produce right now—but I think a simple asparagus dish is just about perfect. The Delta asparagus have shown up at the farmers’ markets, sweet and tender and tasting just like springtime. Pair them with some nice salad greens, and enjoy! You can garnish this salad, if you want, with wedges of almost-hard boiled egg, or shaved Parmesan cheese, or both.

Yield: 4 servings

  • 12 nice fresh asparagus spears
  • ¼ lb. fresh salad greens (mixed greens or only one)
  • 2 thin slices Parma prosciutto
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder or 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. mayonnaise (not low fat)
  • 1 Tbs. red or white wine vinegar, or half vinegar and half lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste, plus salt if needed

Wash and trim asparagus spears, snapping off tough bottom end. Blanch in boiling salted water for about 1 minute, until crisp-tender. Chill for a minute or two in an ice water bath to stop cooking. Drain and dry thoroughly. Wash and dry salad greens, and place in a bowl. Cut the asparagus on the slant into 2-inch pieces and add to the greens.

Cut prosciutto slices into slivers. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and fry the slivers until just crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel, reserving the warm oil for the dressing. Mix mayonnaise and mustard to combine, then add the vinegar and whisk in the oil. Season to taste with pepper—it may not need salt, as the prosciutto will have added salt to the oil. If you use part lemon juice, you may need a bit extra to balance the dressing. Toss the dressing with the greens and asparagus, arrange on plates, and sprinkle the crisped prosciutto over the top.