I’m so tired today I can barely keep my eyes open. I just want to have a nap but there’s no time for that, lots to do. Thankfully there’s some of this beautiful roasted asparagus & tomato salad that I turned into a frittata leftover for dinner tonight…meaning, I don’t have to cook. After a night with next to no sleep thanks to a painfully sore knee, I rocked up to a photo shoot this morning only to discover the shoot is tomorrow. Hello Monday!
I made this gorgeous salad on the weekend. Asparagus season is upon us & what better way to kick off spring than an asparagus salad brimming with color & goodness. The start of a new season is always pretty exciting for me because it brings it with an array of in-season fruits & veggies just waiting for me to turn them into some sort of delectable, healthy creations.
When it comes to speed & ease, this recipe wins hands-down. First thing I did was whip-up the pesto. Instead of using pine nuts I opted for smoked almonds giving the pesto a subtle, smoked flavor that married perfectly with the roasted asparagus, the salty prosciutto & creamy fresh mozzarella.
Then I roasted the asparagus. If you’ve not roasted asparagus before I urge you to try cooking them this way – they’re brilliant. And it’s as simple as tossing the asparagus in a little oil, salt & pepper & roasting them in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. The asparagus will be tender but still retain some of their crisp texture, as long as you don’t overcook them. Err on the side of caution, you can always pop them back into the oven for a minute or two to cook them a little more.
I used a mix of tomatoes & simply halved them & kept them raw. They looked far too pretty to cook.
Then I drizzled the asparagus & tomatoes with the smoky pesto & then I just left them on the baking sheet to serve them.
After topping the salad with buffalo mozzarella & slices of prosciutto I sprinkled it with some extra fresh basil leaves. And there you have a quick & really simple meal that can be served for lunch or dinner, most of which, apart from the assembly, is all make-ahead. Or you can assemble individual plates for a starter.
I took the leftovers the next day & turned them into a frittata. So tonight we’re having leftover frittata with salad. Also known as leftover, leftovers…
- SMOKY PESTO
- 1 1/2 cups basil leaves
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup smoked almonds
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
- ROASTED ASPARAGUS & TOMATO SALAD
- 1 1/2 lbs (680g) asparagus, trimmed of woody ends
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb (454g) small tomatoes, halved
- 8 oz (226g) fresh mozzarella, torn (I used buffalo mozzarella)
- 4 oz (113g) thinly sliced prosciutto
- basil leaves, for garnish
- To make the pesto: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth.
- To make the salad: Preheat the oven to 405°F (205°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place asparagus on baking sheet, add oil, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast 10 minutes or until bright green and just cooked. Cooking time will depend on how thick the asparagus are. The ones I cooked were lovely thin asparagus. If thick, add an extra 2 or 3 minutes to cooking time. Let cool slightly.
- Arrange asparagus on a platter, scatter tomatoes over top. Drizzle with pesto. Top with mozzarella and prosciutto. Scatter with basil leaves. Serves 4 to 6.
- LEFTOVERS RECIPE
- asparagus pesto frittata
- leftover salad
- 8 large eggs, whisked
- 1/4 cup finely grated fresh parmesan cheese
- watercress leaves, to serve
- Heat an 8 inch (20cm) greased, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Place any leftover salad in pan. Add whisked eggs; sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cook, covered for 5 minutes or until almost set. Place under hot broiler for 2 to 3 minutes or until set. Serve warm or cold topped with watercress leaves. Cut into wedges to serve. Serves 4 to 6.