You begin the recipe by blanching one bunch of asparagus until tender-crisp. After it’s blanched you’ll want to shock it – or cool it quickly – in a bowl of ice water.
The simple dressing for the asparagus is a combination of orange juice and zest, champagne vinegar, honey and good olive oil. If you don’t want to make a trip to a gourmet store for the champagne vinegar, substitute rice wine vinegar. Both are light and slightly sweet.
The salad includes orange, not only in the dressing but also as fresh orange segments – also called “supremes” – that are tossed with the asparagus.
Making the orange supremes is simple – just cut off the top and bottom of an orange, peel off the rind and then slide your knife next to the membrane on each side of the orange sections. (You can use canned mandarin oranges.)
The oranges and the asparagus, along with very thinly sliced shallots, are combined with the dressing and refrigerated for several hours or overnight.
To make this a heartier lunch salad, add toasted almond slivers and a sprinkling of crumbled goat or feta cheese.