Thursday, October 28, 2010

Side Dish Thursday

Hey there!  Happy Friday Eve.  Are you making weekend plans yet?  Who’s dressing up for Halloween?

I have a fun day ahead; including Boot Camp class, Ava’s 15 month check up and immunizations, and a fun girl’s night out tonight at a friend’s house, sure to include lots of vino.  So let’s get to it shall we?

As I mentioned in this post, I’m all in favor of sprucing up our side dishes.  I lurve to make salads, because I can get creative with toppings and dressing, but sometimes the cooked vegetables is where I get into a rut.  For instance, usually when I have fresh asparagus, I tend to roast it or grill it with a little kosher salt and eat it like that.  When I saw this recipe, I tore it out with the resolution to make it the next time I saw some good fresh asparagus at the market. 


Grilled Asparagus with Caper Vinaigrette  adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 lb asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided  (I only used 2)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced  (I left it out entirely)
  • 2 tsp. capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup small basil leaves

Grill the asparagus that has been coated with cooking spray and salt and pepper 4 minutes, or until crisp tender. 

Combine the red wine vinegar and next 4 ingredients, slowly add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, stirring with a whisk.  Pour over asparagus and top with torn basil leaves. 

*optional – serve on asparagus plate  ;-) 


This was sooo good.  A keeper for sure.  I think this vinaigrette would be good over chicken or fish as well.  I have a feeling it might become a staple for asparagus in our house. 

 Wine Pairing:  asparagus is one of the hardest foods to pair with wine.  One of the few wines that really can match is a crisp, grassy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  Hints of grapefruit and enough acidity to hold it’s own to the caper vinaigrette.  If you haven’t tried a Sauv Blanc from New Zealand before, it’s a bit different than one from California.  It may catch you off guard at first, but give it a chance – it will soon be something you crave on a hot summer day. 

Question:  Vegetables…plain or do you “dress them up?” 


  1. Great wine to go with asparagus, I would have never thought of that pairing.

  2. Yum!!! I love capers and asparagus!

    I LOVE New Zealand Sauv Blanc! Its one of my favs!

  3. I typically keep my veggies plain! but these look great!

    ps I wrote a post on natural vs artificial flavors and I woudl love your opinion!

  4. I tend to roast a lot of veggies in the fall/winter. And yes, it can get a bit boring. The vinaigrette sounds great. It's definitely going on my "must make" list!

    Hope Ava's check-up went well! Have fun tonight! :)

  5. Go with a Kim Crawford!!! The best New Zealand SB out there. Love this side dish. :)

  6. I love asparagus, they are not only healthy but tastes good too...

    And that recipe looks real easy to follow and looks delish too.

    Now if only I can get my ten-year old son to eat those:)

  7. I tend to be a bit plain with my veggies but every now and then I "dress them up"! This recipe looks great. I'm a big fan of capers!

  8. Ooh, that sounds like a nice change of pace, my veggie sides tend to be pretty plain!