Serve this outstanding salad as a first course with grilled garlic-rubbed bread or as a side dish with a simple grilled main course.
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1 pound (500 grams) asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ fennel bulb
2 tablespoon shallots or green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
½ teaspoon orange rind, grated
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 450F. Toss asparagus in olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 5 to 7 minutes depending on the thickness of the stalks. Asparagus should be crisp-tender and browned. Remove to platter and cool.
Trim base from fennel bulb and remove core and stalks. With a mandoline or sharp knife, slice very thinly. Add to asparagus.
Cut avocado in half and scoop out flesh with a large spoon. Slice and scatter over asparagus and fennel. Season everything with salt and pepper.
Combine shallots, ginger, orange rind, mustard, soy sauce and vinegar in a bowl and whisk in oil. Add mint and season well. Toss with salad.