The texture of butterhead lettuce keeps this salad light and delicate. Prep Time: 30 minutes. Notes: You can use any tender, sweet lettuce in place of butterhead. Find perlini mozzarella at specialty grocery stores and Italian markets, or use a 4-oz. piece of fresh mozzarella grated on the large holes of a box grater or cut into 1/4-in. pieces.
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb.)
2 heads butterhead lettuce such as Boston or Bibb (see Notes)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly shredded lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
4 ounces perlini mozzarella (tiny balls; see Notes)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
How to Make It
Hold the end of an asparagus stalk and bend until it snaps off. Repeat with remaining stalks and discard woody ends. Slice trimmed spears on the diagonal into 1/8-in. lengths, leaving tips about 1 in. long.
Remove and discard outer leaves of lettuce heads. Tear remaining leaves into bite-size pieces. Rinse and dry. Set aside.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, lemon zest, pepper, and dry mustard until creamy-looking.
In a large bowl, toss lettuce with 3 tbsp. dressing. Divide lettuce among 4 salad plates. Toss asparagus pieces with remaining dressing and spoon over lettuces, dividing evenly. Sprinkle salads with perlini and pine nuts. Serve immediately.
My husband's not a huge fan of salads, but proclaimed this "damned elegant!"
He then proceeded to demolish all of the remaining salad in the bowl.
I made this quite a few times when we first got the recipe, and have been waiting anxiously for asparagus to come back into season so I can make it again!
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