Fresh asparagus and parsley tend to be insect infested. Please see “Special Instructions” below for detailed instructions on checking these for insect inspection.
1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons red onion, diced fine
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (great way to use up the extra from Seder)
Trim asparagus spears as needed. Arrange asparagus in a single layer in a large skillet. Add boiling water to cover and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and simmer until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Submerge the asparagus in ice water. Drain and set aside. In a bowl combine the oil, honey, vinegar, onion, pistachio and parsley. Mix to combine. Arrange the asparagus on a serving plate. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top of the asparagus and serve. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve at room temperature or cold.Green Asparagus and Insect Infestation: Asparagus contains beetles and thrips. Thrips are primarily found under the triangle scales and somewhat less frequently in the tips of the asparagus. Inspection: 1. Shave down the floret at the asparagus tip. 2. Remove the triangle parts along the side of the asparagus. (A potato peeler is recommended.) 3. Wash thoroughly. When prepared in this manner, special inspection is not necessary. White Asparagus: This hard to find and very expensive cousin to green asparagus has neither open florets nor scales for the insects to occupy. Hence, it may be used without any special preparation. However, it should be washed thoroughly before using. Fresh Parsley: Fresh parsley (as well as the following herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme) are often used as spices or garnishing. Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water. Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used. Recommendation: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found, proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs, it should not be used. Inspection: 1. Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.) 2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs. 3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs. 4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light. 5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs. 6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.