This light and elegant salad was created by Chris Harkness, the Executive Chef of Great Performances Catering, during a training session for Just Food community chefs.

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Servings: Serves 4-6
  • 2 bunches asparagus (about 2 pounds), ends trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 heirloom tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 head red-leaf lettuce , preferably Lola Rosa, washed, dried, and torn into small pieces
  • 8 pea shoots
Tomato Tarragon Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 5 ounces of jarred julienned sundried tomatoes plus 1 Tbsp. packing oil
  • 2 shallots , quartered
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Note: You can substitute 5 ounces of mixed spring greens for the Lola Rose lettuce; if you are unable to find pea shoots (often available only in the spring), substitute a handful of baby spinach.

Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Toss asparagus with olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender.

To make vinaigrette: Place sundried tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of packing oil into a blender and grind into a coarse paste. Add white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, shallots, and tarragon and puree. While blender is still on, slowly add oil, blending in bit by bit. Occasionally stop blender and scrape down the sides. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss lettuce and pea shoots with 1/2 cup dressing; season to taste with salt and pepper. Place asparagus and tomatoes in large bowl; toss lightly with 1/3 cup dressing; season to taste with salt and pepper. On a large platter, arrange asparagus and tomatoes over lettuce.


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