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Nopa's Laurence Jossel takes asparagus beyond the oven

Everyone loves a pile of roasted asparagus, especially when the vegetable signals that the spring growing season has finally arrived. But chef Laurence Jossel of San Francisco's Nopa knows the spears can be more than a side dish. At his restaurant, famous for its wood-fired cuisine, he blanches them briefly to preserve their bright color before combining them with some unexpected partners (tender calamari, sharp radicchio and bright orange) in a salad that's complex, balanced, satisfying–and seasonal. Asparagus shares top billing with calamari, and we think you'll use Jossel's foolproof method for cooking perfect squid all year long.

Recipe adapted from Laurence Jossel, Nopa, San Francisco

Asparagus, Radicchio And Roasted-Calamari Salad
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Chef Laurence Jossel recipe for asparagus, radiccho and calamari salad from Nopa restaurant in San Francisco
Servings
4
servings
Ingredients
  • 2 navel oranges
  • ⅓ cup sherry vinegar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt
  • 1¼ pounds squid bodies and tentacles, bodies trimmed into ½-inch rings 12 asparagus spears
  • 2 medium heads radicchio--leaves separated, washed and dried
Directions
  1. Using a knife, peel the oranges, removing all the white pith. Cut between the membranes to release the segments into a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the sherry vinegar with the lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic and paprika. Let the garlic stand in the dressing for 15 minutes to mellow its flavor, then whisk in the olive oil and season with salt. Add the squid and marinate until ready to use.
  3. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Prepare an ice bath. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the asparagus and cook until just tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to the ice bath until cooled, then drain. Slice the radicchio into thin strips and place in a large bowl. Add the cooled asparagus to the bowl.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450˚. Place a large skillet in the oven and heat for about 5 minutes, until very hot. Remove the skillet and add the squid and vinaigrette. Toss the squid and return to the oven for 45 seconds (any longer and the squid will be rubbery).
  5. Remove the skillet from the oven and immediately transfer the squid to the bowl with the asparagus and radicchio. Toss, gradually adding the warm vinaigrette until well dressed. Season with salt and discard the remaining vinaigrette.
  6. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Garnish with the orange segments and serve immediately.
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