Only twenty calories in five spears, nutritionally well balanced, in season and great tasting. Only a few minutes of cooking time and I am munching those spears one after another as if they were pretzel rods. I seem to do the same thing with brussel sprouts I eat them as if they were popcorn. It's not that I can't have the pretzels or the popcorn; I actually enjoy the asparagus and the brussel sprouts and find them to be a treat and not a deprivation.
Asparagus is so low in calorie that you can actually fill your plate without fretting over the portion size. This recipe is perfect if you are looking for something a little different with loads of flavor without packing on too many additional calories.
If you would like to have this salad as a meal rather than a side, just add some tuna for the addition of protein. The tuna would actually make this more of a traditional Nicoise salad.
3 lbs. of asparagus trimmed
6 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
3 Teaspoons. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. of olive oil
3 shallots minced
3 plum tomatoes, diced (any nice ripe tomato will do)
1/2 c. Nicoise or Kalamata olives, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 Tablespoons drained capers
Place asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 4-5 minutes, then drain. Transfer asparagus to bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
Whisk vinegar and mustard in small bowl, slowly whisk in the oil until it emulsifies. Then add in the shallots, tomatoes, olives and capers, salt and pepper to taste. Drain asparagus and arrange on individual plates or on a big serving platter and let everyone help themselves. Spoon Nicoise mixture over asparagus and serve cold