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Recipe: Asparagus salad with beets, new potatoes and mustard vinaigrette

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

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Note: From "Alfred Portale's Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook" (Doubleday, 1997).

Potato salad

4 small new potatoes, well scrubbed

Coarse salt

1/4 cup mustard vinaigrette

2 teaspoons minced shallots

Freshly ground white pepper

1. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water over high heat until tender when pierced with a tip of a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, cut the unpeeled potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place in a bowl.

2. Add the vinaigrette and shallots and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Beet salad

3 beets, tops trimmed to 1/2-inch

Coarse salt

2 tablespoons mustard vinaigrette

2 teaspoons minced shallots

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Freshly ground white pepper

1. Cook the beets, in boiling, lightly salted water over medium heat until just tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place in a small bowl, and toss with the vinaigrette and shallots. Season with salt and pepper.

Asparagus salad

2 pounds large asparagus spears, ends trimmed, spears peeled

Coarse salt

1/4 cup mustard vinaigrette

2 teaspoons minced shallots

Freshly ground white pepper

1. Cook the asparagus in a large pan of boiling salted water, over high heat until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water to set the color. Place on a kitchen towel, dry and transfer to a large platter.

2. When ready to serve, whisk the mustard vinaigrette with the shallots, and pour just enough over the asparagus to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper and carefully roll the asparagus in the vinaigrette to dress it.

Assembly

Red leaf lettuce leaves

2 tablespoons mustard vinaigrette

Coarse salt

Finely ground white pepper

Chopped Italian parsley, for garnish

1. Toss the lettuce with the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper and divide among 4 chilled dinner plates. Divide the asparagus among the plates. Place a quarter of the potato salad and the beet salad on each plate, then scatter the parsley over the plates.

Mustard vinaigrette

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3/4 cup peanut or canola oil

Coarse salt

Freshly ground white pepper

1. Whisk the vinegar and mustard in a bowl. Gradually add the oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Each serving: XXX calories; XXX mg. sodium; XX mg. cholesterol; XX grams fat; XX grams saturated fat; XX grams carbohydrates; XX grams protein; X.XX gram fiber.

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