Prepare The Asparagus:
Slice the woody ends off the asparagus. (To determine where to trim, hold the asparagus with both hands and bend, where it snaps is where you need to cut.) See Asparagus in vegetable chapter for more information. For this salad we want to slice the asparagus with a knife to keep the length uniform. Peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler, to make it look pretty. Wrap each portion of asparagus with a rubber band.
In lightly salted, simmering water until it is tender and turns bright green. Do not let the water boil, it will beat up the asparagus tips, do not overcook. We want the asparagus to retain some snap, vitamins and nutrients. Chill the asparagus in an ice bath to stop cooking. Drain and keep chilled.
Blanch some spinach leaves, drain and arrange on a serving plate. Thinly slice a carrot, cut the ends to form into a ribbon, poach carrot ribbons in simmering water, drain, wrap the carrot ribbon around the asparagus bundle. Place the wrapped asparagus atop the spinach, wrap the plate w/ plastic wrap and reserve in fridge until service.
Prepare the raspberry vinaigrette:
Placing raspberries, cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor, blend until smooth. With motor running, slowly add the cream until it becomes a gorgeous pink color, allow to blend for a minute to whip air into the dressing. Strain...
Drape with raspberry vinaigrette dressing over the asparagus in a decorative manner. Finish with fresh ground black pepper. Fresh chives would be ok.
Fresh asparagus spears, cooked and chilled.
6 spears per person
Spinach Leaves to line the plates
1 large carrot, for ribbons
Black pepper to finish
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing:
1 cup raspberries
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup whipping cream