Asparagus & Carrots with Asian Vinaigrette
Prepare vinaigrette: Combine salad dressing, soy sauce, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.Advertisement
Cook carrots, covered, in a medium skillet in a small amount of boiling water for 2 minutes. Add asparagus spears. Cover and cook for 4 to 6 minutes more or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain; immediately plunge vegetables into ice water (see Tip). Let stand for 1 minute. Drain and pat dry.
Line four salad plates with lettuce. Arrange carrots, asparagus, and mushrooms on lettuce. Drizzle with vinaigrette. If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Tips: To toast sesame seeds, spread in a shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven about 5 minutes or until golden, shaking pan once or twice.
To quick chill vegetables: Many vegetables cook so quickly they can go from perfectly crisp-tender to limp in seconds. When serving vegetables chilled, as in the recipe above, its essential you stop the cooking process as soon as the vegetables are crisp-tender. To do this, quickly drain the vegetables, plunge them in a bowl of ice water, and let them stand until they're completely cold (asparagus takes about 1 minute). Then drain them, pat dry, and use as directed in recipes.