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Chilled Asparagus, Shaved Fennel & Pecorino with Orange-Basil Vinaigrette

Chilled Asparagus, Shaved Fennel & Pecorino with Orange-Basil Vinaigrette

From: Chef Rick Tramonto, Tru, Chicago.

Yield: 12 servings.

4 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
2 large fennel bulbs, stalks trimmed off
6 plum tomatoes, 1/2" dice
4 oz. Pecorino Romano cheese
as needed, kosher salt
as needed, black pepper, freshly ground

ORANGE BASIL VINAIGRETTE:
4 oz. Sunkist® orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tsp. garlic, minced
12 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
2 oz. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
8 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Sunkist® orange zest, finely chopped or grated
as needed, kosher salt
as needed, black pepper, freshly ground

Blanch asparagus spears in salted water for 2-3 minutes. Shock asparagus in ice water for 1 minute to stop cooking process. Asparagus will be crisp-tender. Drain well and blot dry with paper towel. Place in container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise. cut out center core and slice the two halves cross-wise into paper-thin half-moons. Place the prepped fennel in container of ice water, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

To assemble each salad: In a small bowl, dress a few spears of asparagus and several half moons of fennel with vinaigrette to taste. Arrange asparagus on a plate with the tips facing the same direction. Garnish with dressed fennel and chopped tomatoes. With a vegetable peeler, shave curls of Pecorino Romano over the salad. season with a pinch of kosher-salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For vinaigrette: In a blender, combine the orange juice, garlic, basil, vinegar and sugar. Cover and blend. Add the oil in a thin stream, blending for 60 seconds. Add the orange zest and pulse to combine. Pour in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Before using, whisk well and season to taste with orange juice, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Photo Credit: Sunkist

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