The Easter Sunday meal at my house most always means a large buffet for family and friends. A lamb seasoned with middle eastern style spices, grilled and served kabob style on skewers, there are always deviled eggs, and lots of spring salads, one of these, Asparagus and Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.
The asparagus and strawberry salad has been among my favorites for years. The rich depth of sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar provides a good added dimension between these two simple spring ingredients that have begun to emerge at markets everywhere. After months bearing the cold days of winter, slim, bright green stalks and the near heart shaped juicy red fruit combine additionally providing a joyous colorful dimension tucked between other offerings on the buffet table. And how can you go wrong with such a quick and simple preparation process?
Integrating elements of varying texture and color between dishes always seems to create an appetizing and welcoming appearance on a buffet table display, and for an Easter buffet, besides a nice dish of brightly dyed eggs on a bed of floral grass, even well placed simple bowls of fresh fruits, touches of vegetables, or small glass vases stuffed with herbs suit well as decorative touches.
A little side note, if serving a large bowl of juicy red strawberries as part of your decorative touch adding color to your Easter or other festive spring holiday buffet table, now these you just might want to keep well chilled and secretly hidden until serving time.
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced (strawberries may alternatively be chopped)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- good pinch of sugar, coarse kosher salt, and cracked black pepper for vinaigrette, plus a sprinkle of salt and pepper over salad before serving
- Drop asparagus in a saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for almost a minute until vegetable is bright green colored and still crisp. Immediately drain asparagus and tip into a bowl of cold ice water to stop the cooking. Lay asparagus spears on paper towels and gently dry, then decoratively arrange onto a platter. Lay sliced or chopped fresh strawberries across the asparagus about a third of the way down. Drizzle on the balsamic vinaigrette just above, between, and beneath the strawberries. Sprinkle tray all about with a bit of salt and pepper.