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Asparagus with Gremolata Dressing

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Gremolata (also spelled gremolada) – a mixture of garlic, parsley and grated lemon zest-is the traditional garnish for the northern Italian braised veal shank dish known as osso buco. I have incorporated this lively combination into a citrus vinaigrette for a chilled salad of lightly steamed asparagus. Serve with braised veal dishes, roast lamb, ham, chicken or fish.

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon zest
Fine Sicilian salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground Sarawak black pepper
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and rinsed

Place the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon Fine Sicilian salt, lemon juice and orange juice in a small bowl. Mix with a whisk. Slowly whisk in the oil and season with pepper. Set aside to allow the flavors to blend.

Trim the asparagus by snapping off the ends (it will break where the tender and tough parts meet). Place the asparagus in a steamer basket and steam for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size, or until the spears are tender yet offer a bit of resistance when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Transfer to a platter. Give the dressing a final whisk, correct the seasonings with more Sicilian salt and Sarawak black pepper as needed, and pour over the asparagus. Roll the asparagus in the dressing to coat completely.

Let the asparagus cool to room temperature for about ½ hour, gently rolling the spears in the dressing from time to time. Chill before serving.