Yield
6

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the walnuts on a small baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool, then break the walnuts in half lengthwise.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds over moderately high heat until fragrant and golden, about 20 seconds. Transfer to a work surface and let cool, then finely chop.

Step 3

Pour 1/2 inch of water into a large pot fitted with a large steamer basket and bring to a boil. Discard the tough ends from the asparagus and add the spears to the steamer; cover and steam over high heat until just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to paper towels and pat dry. Let the asparagus cool to room temperature, then cut on the diagonal into 2-inch lengths.

Step 4

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the vinegar, scallion, tarragon, mint and chopped fennel seeds. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 5

Add the asparagus and walnuts to the bowl and toss with a rubber spatula. Add the goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to plates and serve.

Step 6

Wine Recommendation: To blend with the asparagus and complement the tangy goat cheese, go for a racy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, such as the 2002 Villa Maria Private Bin.

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