07 November 2007

Asparagus and Orange Salad with Gorgonzola

Asparagus and Orange Salad with Gorgonzola (with title)
The world is a completely different place from ten years ago. Well, obviously, but it's even more obvious in the grocery aisles. Previously "rare" produce are now available all throughout the year. It's taking too long, however, for berries of all kinds to make an appearance here (for now, only fresh strawberries, and sporadically at that). Regardless of the dip in quality during the off-season, at least here in the Philippines there is a feeling of perpetual summer, which of course has its disadvantages (it is hot all the freaking time), but if it means having more food choices, then it's best to take advantage.

Speaking of taking advantage, I'll be going on a short trip to Boracay. In other words, the beach. Which I hate (the heat, the sun, the sand... Though I love marine life. And seafood). But I'm not the type to skip ever seeing a place because of my prejudices. In other words, I have to go there at least once in my life! And no, I will not return with anecdotes of debauchery. See you guys on Sunday! (Instructions follow)
I don't think I managed to achieve the full potential of this dish, however. Looking back, I shouldn't have been so timid with the dressing. To balance the fresh flavors of the asparagus and oranges, I should have made a hollandaise and melted the bits of gorgonzola cheese in it. So that's what I suggest you do instead of preparing a weak French dressing like I did.

To roast asparagus: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Trim the asparagus (bend one spear holding both ends until it breaks at a point of weakness, then cut all other spears at this point). Lay the asparagus in one layer in a baking sheet or roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes.

To prepare the orange: cut a thick slice off the top and bottom. Place flat on your board and run a knife down the sides under the peel (you'll probably take a little bit of the orange). Make sure you've cut off all the white pith. Lay the orange on its side and slice into thin hexagons.

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