GRILLED ASPARAGUS AND CORN SALAD
5 ears corn, shucked
1 fennel bulb, cut into thin rounds (plus ½ cup of the fronds chopped and reserved)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½-pound green or yellow beans
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
4-ounces pea shoots
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon dill seeds
6.5-ounces goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat grill to medium high (450 degrees) while you prepare the vegetables.
Remove the woody ends (about 2” off the bottom) of asparagus spears. If they are very thick, you can also peel the bottom half of the spears with a vegetable peeler to make them tender. Place them on a cookie sheet with the corn cobs and fennel rounds. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss with your fingers to evenly coat.
Place the asparagus, corn, and fennel directly on the hot grill and close the lid. Check after about 2-3 minutes and remove asparagus and fennel when they are crisp tender. This will vary slightly depending on the thickness of the asparagus, but you do not want to overcook. Veggies should remain crisp. Turn the corn on the grill every 2-3 minutes until lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Chop the asparagus spears into 3” pieces and fennel into bite size chunks and place in a large bowl (along with reserved chopped fennel fronds). Using a paring or steak knife, stand the corn cobs up in the center of the bowl and cut off the kernels. Use the back of the knife to scrape any ‘milk’ from the cobs after the kernels are removed.
Blanch the green beans in a pot of salted boiling water for about 2 minutes. Again, you want them to remain crisp and just lightly cooked and bright in color. Cut in half and add to the bowl along with the peas and pea shoots.
Heat a frying pan on high heat for 2 minutes. When very hot, add the dill seed and mustard seed to the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, shaking the pan occasionally until they are fragrant and begin to pop. Reserve a couple of teaspoons for garnish and add the rest to the salad bowl.
Add the goat cheese.
Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a large jar and shake vigorously to combine and emulsify (or whisk in a small bowl). Pour over the salad and toss to coat. Plate on a large platter or individual salad plates – DEVOUR!!
Note – salad can be prepared a day in advance. Add the goat cheese and dressing just before serving. Delicious cold or at room temperature.