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Asparagus Bundles with Tomato Vinaigrette


1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed to 5″ length (you should have 24 spears)
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed (you should have 18 beans)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 5″ X 1/2″ sticks (you should have 12 pieces)
2 green onions, root end trimmed, blanched lightly, cooled

Vinaigrette
2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper


Garnish: toasted pine nuts, chopped mint and/or pansies

In 2 quarts boiling salted water, add asparagus and blanch for 2 min. Remove from water and place in iced water to stop cooking process. In same water add the beans and carrots and cook for 4 minutes or until beans are bright green. Blanch the green onions. Remove vegetables and add to iced water. Drain off excess ice and water from vegetables.

Take 4 asparagus spears, 3 beans and 2 carrot pieces and tie together with one green onion. Do this 6 times. Set aside. You should have 6 bundles.

For vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, mix together the tomatoes, mint, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. When ready to serve asparagus bundles, place one on serving plate and top with a little of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with pine nuts or top with chopped mint and a pansy for garnish.

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