Asparagus Salad with Charred Onion Vinaigrette, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Burrata, Wild Arugula and Speck

Source: Jamie Lauren, Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated at CUESA’s Market to Table programs on March 21, 2009.

Serves 6


2 bunches large asparagus
4 tomatoes
7 ounces burrata (you may substitute fresh mozzarella), divided into six pieces
1 pound wild arugula (you may substitute regular arugula)
½ pound speck, sliced thin (you may substitute any cured ham, such as prosciutto/serrano)
Olive oil

For the charred onion vinaigrette
4 red onions, sliced into thick rounds
1 cup Sherry vinegar
3 stems rosemary
2 cups olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. To make the vinagrette, marinate the onions in the sherry vinegar, rosemary and half the olive oil overnight (or minimum 4-6 hours). Season with salt and grill until they become black and soft, reserving the marinade.  Place the cooked onions back into the marinade and allow to sit another hour or so to make sure they are permeated with the vinegar and oil.Remove onions and roughly chop and; place back into the vinegar mixture. Whisk the rest of the oil into the onion-vinegar mixture and adjust seasoning with salt. The mixture should be thick, but have a little viscosity to it.

  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Cut tomatoes in half, toss with salt and olive oil (just enough to coat) and place cut side up on a baking sheet.  Roast overnight or 6-8 hours; they should become dry, but still maintain some moisture and sweetness.
  3. In a large pot, heat the water and a generous amount of salt until boiling. Rinse the asparagus and peel if fibrous. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook until tender, but still with a crunch in the center. Remove asparagus into an ice water bath to prevent any further cooking. Chill and reserve for the salad. This can be done ahead of time, but no more than a day in advance.
  4. Toss asparagus in the onion vinaigrette and season with salt. Divide the asparagus between the 6 plates, placing on the center of the plate. Top each with a few slices of roasted tomato and the cheese. Season the arugula with a light amount of the vinaigrette and salt and pepper and place on top of the asparagus. Finish with a thinly sliced piece of speck and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Photo by Barry Jan.


Farmers Market Ingredients