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Asparagus Vinaigrette

from Pierre Franey's Kitchen , page 106

Using a steamer to cook asparagus is a marvelous way to keep its nutrients, retain its firmness and not lose its brilliant green color.

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds asparagus
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

PREPARATION

1. Cover the bottom of steamer with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil.

2. Cut off the white portions of asparagus stem and peel asparagus holding the tip and moving the peeler toward the base. Place in steamer and cook at high heat, covered, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender but not soft. Do to overcook; they should still be al dente.

3. To prepare the sauce, put mustard in a small mixing bowl, add vinegar and start beating with a wire whisk steadily adding the oil in a thin stream. Add salt, pepper, onion and parsley and blend.

4. Pour the sauce over the asparagus or serve separately. Asparagus can be hot or cold.

YIELD

4 to 6 servings