An all-green salad makes a bold statement that spring has arrived, but you can also use a mix of asparagus colors—green, white and purple—for a very pretty combination. Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino can be added for a rich, nutty note, and any leftover salad can be stirred into risotto, pasta or omelettes.
Pea and Asparagus Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing
Sea salt, to taste
2 cups shelled English peas (about 2 lb. unshelled)
2 lb. thin asparagus tips
2 cups pea shoots
Shredded zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon or regular lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. sugar, if needed
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Add the peas to the boiling water and blanch for 1 minute. Using a strainer, scoop out the peas and refresh them in the ice water. Scoop them out of the ice water with the strainer and set aside.
Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add more ice to the bowl of ice water, if needed. Drain the asparagus and refresh in the ice water. Drain again, slice the asparagus in half lengthwise and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the peas, asparagus, pea shoots, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil and toss to combine. Add the sugar if not using Meyer lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter or divide among individual plates and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.