In my opinion, eating, dinner in particular, is meant to be a community event. Growing up, family dinners were a must; precariously balanced between board meetings, ballet, baseball and boy scouts, but they happened every night. For that I am grateful! Now that I have my own house and dinner table, I find it just as important to have friends and family over for dinner as often as possible. I also love going to our friends’ homes for dinner, sharing in the preparation and enjoying great food, with even better conversation. It make me happy and feel grounded, I need it. We had dinner with Alaina’s student teaching mentor teacher and her husband this weekend. They hosted us at their home in West Olympia, where Dan grilled on the back porch while we talked about business, blogging, and information science, and Alaina and Kati chatted about school, weddings, and Olympia life. We ate dinner, drank wine, and that amazing kind of conversation which makes time stand still. That is, until we were getting ready to leave the dinner table and realized it was midnight!
Locally raised steaks on the grill and fresh crisp asparagus salad, both from the farmers market, reminded me that spring is here and summer’s late patio dinners aren’t too far away.
Roasted Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese
This recipe is a revival from last year and my old blog,
but it total deserves an encore performance.
basil and oregano (fresh or dried)
Spring lettuce mix, enough for two good-sized salads
Roasted Hazelnuts (optional)
Creamy Goat Chevre
Good balsamic vinegar
salad quality olive oil
Salt and pepper
Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the ends. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, oregano salt and pepper. Grill, roast or broil the asparagus until tender, but not soggy. I bake them at 350°on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Allow them to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk olive oil and vinegar together with a 3 to 2 ratio (For two salads I think I used about 3T. oil and 2T. vinegar). Add a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Add lettuce to bowl and toss with dressing until coated. Divide onto plates and top with asparagus spears, roasted hazelnuts and crumbled goat cheese. (keep the goat cheese chilled, or you will have the problem we had last night, which was soft and warm goat cheese that refused to crumble!)
*For two side salads I used 8 spears