The Silver Palate Cookbook….oh how I loved this cookbook! It made me feel like a fancy cook. Jullee Rosso and Sheila Lukins were food gurus to this suburban housewife. They had one of the first gourmet food shops in New York City, and when their cookbook came out, I couldn’t stop cooking from it. Just flipping through the pencil marked and stained pages of this very used cookbook brings back so many memories for me. I remember all my favorite recipes and the occasions for which I made them. I can see the faces of the friends and family as we feasted on each delightful piece of pie, entrée or appetizer.
Funny how a cookbook can be your best friend for over a decade, then it’s placed on the back of a shelf and forgotten for years. Well I’m rekindling my friendship with the Silver Palate Cookbook. It’s been too long. I’ve missed it so.
One of my favorite recipes from this cookbook has always been their vinaigrette for asparagus. It reminds me of spring. I have made this for Easter dinners, bridal showers, baby showers, and any celebration where you might be looking for a light accompaniment for a meal. It is so delicious that I have also served it on it’s own, as a first course. It’s great for a buffet table, too.
I’m delighted to share this recipe with you, especially now as we head into asparagus season. If you have this cookbook on the back of your shelf, I think you would enjoy reacquainting yourself with this old friend. I certainly did.
RECIPE: yields 1 cup
1 Tbsp. prepared Dijon-style mustard
4 TBSP. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
minced parsley and/or snipped fresh chives, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
trimmed and blanched asparagus
- Measure mustard in a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and herbs to taste.
- Continue to whisk mixture while slowly dribbling in the olive oil until mixture thickens. Adjust seasoning to taste. cover until ready to use. (Vinaigrette is best if made just before it is used.) If necessary, whisk again before serving.
3. Trim and blanch asparagus in lightly salted water, to desired “doneness.” Remember, they continue to cook even after they come out of the water.