Asparagus and Herb Salad with Crispy Chorizo

asparagus and chorizo salad

Every ounce of creative energy I have these days is going into salads. I'm amassing quite a gallery of photos, but decided to spare you the parade and give you one shining example.

Many solo nights the last couple weeks have looked thus:

  • Fix the kids something that will keep them happy--"plain nachos" (read: no veggies), grilled cheese, or quesadillas.
  • Go out to my little garden and pick radishes, baby greens, and a few herbs.
  • Wash and spin dry these precious little gems, then start looking for what I might toss them with.
  • Get an amazing amount of mileage from a chorizo link I bought at DeLaurenti last weekend.
  • However out-of-sorts I've been lately, feel exceedingly thankful for the riotous, green bowl in front of me that manages to taste so ethereally good.

The magic in this salad comes from crisping up chorizo bits in a cast iron pan with a splash of your best olive oil, then throwing in thin asparagus, cut into 1" lengths, and letting it cook for less than a minute, till it's getting an orange-ish hue from the chorizo oil. Then pour the entire hot, oily melange over your greens, toss with a squeeze of lime and olive oil, and eat right away, while the hot and cold components are still distinct. Can I get an "Amen!" out there? It's Sunday, after all.

I've been making amazing salads (no humility here) for years, but the wonder of it now is that I have witnesses! I've been thinking lately about what a fundamental human need that is--to be seen. Emily was writing recently about how Namaste, the traditional salutation at the close of a yoga class, means "I see you." So beautiful. It's true--sometimes we don't want to be seen. An old friend stopped by today while I was cleaning the house, and I was actually embarrassed. I was a mess, the house was a DISASTER. I know it shouldn't have mattered, but it did. So maybe we don't want our messy houses, mistakes, or snarky moments to be seen, but all of us need witnesses--people who see us for who we are and love us, people who see our successes and celebrate them. So I'm one lucky girl, don't you think? Even though it's virtual, you all bear witness, in constantly amazing ways, to this little life of mine. Wherever you are, I hope you've got people doing that for you. Like I've said many times, every life is astounding. I just happen to be writing about mine.

Asparagus and Herb Salad with Crispy Chorizo
Serves one salad-loving mother. Gather a handful of greens and herbs from your fridge or garden. In this salad, I used baby spinach, arugula, some radish tops (really spiky ones aside), and fresh mint. Wash and dry them. Thinly slice 6 radishes and halve a handful of cherry tomatoes. Cube 1/2 an avocado and shave or grate a bit of aged parmesan. Add all that to your greens, but you don't need to toss it yet. Dice or cut into little strips a 1"chunk of Spanish chorizo, and fry it in a bit of olive oil until chorizo starts to crisp up. Throw in 5 or 6 thin asparagus spears that have been cut into 1" lengths and cook for under a minute on medium-high heat, until asparagus is hot through but still firm. Pour everything in the skillet over your greens, squeeze half a lime over, drizzle some of your best olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, then gently toss with your hands. Find someone to exclaim over your creation.