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updated: 4/1/2013 11:07 AM

Asparagus With Shallot-Honey Dressing

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2 pounds asparagus, preferably similar in thickness

cup finely chopped shallot

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Juice from 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon honey

2 cloves garlic

teaspoon fine sea salt, or more as needed

teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice water and ice cubes.

Meanwhile, trim the woody ends of the asparagus. Peel some of the stalks, if desired. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.

Add the asparagus to the pot and cook/blanch for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is just tender and bright green. Use a wide slotted spoon to transfer it to the ice-water bath to cool.

Combine the shallot, lemon juice, honey, garlic, sea salt and pepper in a mini-food processor. Pulse until well combined. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream to form an emulsified dressing.

Drain the asparagus; transfer it to paper towels to dry, then place in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Taste; adjust the seasoning or add dressing as needed. Serve at room temperature.

Serves six to eight.

Cook's note: The asparagus can be cooked, cooled and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. It's best to toss it with the dressing just before serving. You'll have leftover dressing, which can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days.

Adapted from a recipe by Elaine Gordon, EatingbyElaine.com.

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