You want spring? You want hope? You want optimism? You want a salad? I do. Ramps, fiddleheads, asparagus — gimme spring. Gimme warm weather. Gimme grilling. Gimme spring now and give it to me all at once. No? Too bad, I'm taking it. That's what this salad does, wrenches spring and warm-weather cooking from winter's cold, dead hands.
As iconic a vegetable as ramps are, fiddleheads are so much cooler looking. All curled up on themselves like some crazy alien vegetable. Crunchy. Vibrant. And they're supposedly a great source of antioxidants, Omega 3, Omega 6, and iron. So this recipe takes spring and throws it all together: asparagus, fiddleheads, spring peas, three different preparations of vegetables and grilling. A glass (or two) of Robert Sinskey rosé and you're golden. Cause when you've been waiting for summer this long it's time to jump in to spring all at once.
- 1 pound fiddleheads
- ½ pound spring peas, washed and halved
- ½ container cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 can black olives, halved
- ½ pound jumbo wild shrimp
- Olive oil
- Smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
- ½ cup prosecco
- 1 shallot, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
Get a pot of water boiling, fire up the grill, and get an ice water bath ready. When the water is boiling, add the salt and blanch the fiddleheads — for about a minute, maybe a touch less if you've got really nice fresh fiddleheads (and that's what you're supposed to be using).
In a bowl, add the spring peas (we're going to keep these raw for crunch and sweetness), the cherry tomatoes and olives. Toss. Toss the shrimp in olive oil with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss asparagus in olive oil with salt and pepper. Throw the shrimp and asparagus on grill. Cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes each side (depending on how big they are) and the asparagus about 3 minutes before turning and leaving them on for another 3 minutes. Remove and cut the asparagus to about the same size as the spring peas and fiddleheads. Mix.
To make the dressing, mix the prosecco with equal parts olive oil, add the minced shallot, lemon juice, salt, pepper. Add the tomatoes, peas, and olives, and then top with the shrimp, asparagus, and fiddleheads, keep it all away from your girlfriend's mischievous cat, take a sip of that Sinskey rosé, and dig into spring.