Asparagus Salad with Sunchoke Puree and Smoked Paprika-Lardo Sherry Vinaigrette

Source: Peter Rudolph of Madera Restaurant at the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park. 

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated at CUESA’s Market to Table program on March 20, 2010.


1 bunch asparagus
5 sunchokes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3-4 tablespoons chicken stock

Smoked Paprika-Lardo Sherry Vinaigrette
4 ounces lardo, finely diced
4 shallots, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoon sherry vinegar


  1. Prep the asparagus: Grasp the tip of each stalk and bend the stalk end with the other hand.  The tough end of the stalk will break off, leaving the tender part of the stalk and tip. With a mandolin, shave asparagus-bottoms directly into ice water.  Peel the stalks of the asparagus-tops.  Have ready large bowl ice water.  In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring salted water to boil.  Add asparagus and boil, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain, then immediately plunge spears into ice water to stop cooking.  Drain again, pat dry and set aside.
  2. Peel the sunchokes.  In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring salted water to boil.  Add sunchokes and boil, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.  In a blender, puree sunchokes with olive oil and butter.  Puree for several minutes until the mixture is completely combined and appears to “turn over” on itself inside the blender. Add chicken stock to adjust the thickness if necessary.


For the vinaigrette

  1. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high flame, add lardo and shallots and cook together for a minute.  Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are soft and translucent.  Add smoked paprika and olive oil.  Let it sit for one hour.  
  2. Place the shallot mixture in a medium bowl and whisk in the sherry vinegar.


To Serve

  1. In the middle of a plate, serve a dollop of sunchoke puree.  Arrange the blanched asparagus spears on top of the puree.  Drizzle the vinaigrette around the dish.  Sprinkle the shaved asparagus on top.  Enjoy!


Farmers Market Ingredients