This salad, from last week’s New York Times cooking section, isn’t exactly what I would call a “diet” recipe. Why? Because the dressing calls for 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. However, this is one of the best Asian-type vinaigrettes I’ve found, and a little really does go a long way.
Case in point: the WW Points for this recipe are calculated using all of the dressing on this one salad, but I made the dressing recipe below and used it two nights in a row, first for the asparagus/chicken salad and then for a baby kale salad, and I still have a smidgeon of dressing left over in the fridge. Which proves the point that, if you’re prudent, you can have your salad dressing and eat it too!
Save this ginger dressing recipe and throughout the summer, vary the greens and veggies in your salad according to what’s available at your farmers’ market. Do try this combination first, though. Lightly cooked asparagus, rotisserie chicken, baby greens and ginger dressing. It doesn’t get much better, easier or fresher-tasting.
And remember, “Everything in moderation,” according to beautiful, thin super-chef Giada De Laurentiis.
1 shallot, finely diced, about 2 Tbsp.
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 pinch cayenne (you choose: big or small pinch)
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 lb. asparagus
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
2 cups rotisserie chicken breast, cubed
1 lime, cut into wedges
Salad greens: baby spinach, baby kale and/or baby bok choy
Cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
To make the vinaigrette, combine ingredients in a jar, shake and let steep for several minutes.
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Snap off tough ends of asparagus and cut each spear into 2-inch lengths. Place asparagus into boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain and cool under running water. Blot dry with paper towels.
To make the salad, put asparagus into a salad bowl. Add chile, if using, and crushed peanuts. Dress with half the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
Mound salad greens on a platter and arrange asparagus on top. Place chicken over asparagus. Drizzle on a little more vinaigrette and squeeze salad with fresh lime juice. Garnish with optional cilantro.
WW Points per serving: 10
(Ginger dressing = 2 Points per Tbsp.)