Asparagus and Potato Salad with Black Garlic Ranch

Asparagus & Potato Salad with Black Garlic Ranch

May 12, 2024Eshun Mott

We can get asparagus almost year-round now - it travels to Canada from Mexico and Peru, but local asparagus is so much more flavourful it’s almost like a different vegetable. Thick fresh stalks are just beginning to show up in stores now which means it’s time to put this vegetable into regular rotation.

You can eat asparagus raw or lightly blanched, but our favourite way to treat it is to cut it into short pieces and cook it in a super hot dry cast iron skillet until it chars just a little at the edges before adding olive oil and salt. This gives it excellent flavour - like you’ve grilled it, while keeping a perfect tender-crisp texture.

Since it’s still not really salad supper weather (yet), we’ve turned our asparagus into a hearty side dish/salad that would be delicious with grilled or roast chicken. The dressing alone is a standout, featuring black garlic—slow-cooked at low temperatures until it caramelizes and slightly ferments—blended with buttermilk, vinegar, olive oil and fresh chives. It’s like Ranch dressing’s richer more complicated cousin.

Black garlic boasts a number of health benefits, but for our purposes it just adds an amazing depth of umami flavour that balances our lightly charred asparagus. Creamy potatoes give the salad heft and we add arugula for its peppery green bite. Finishing the dish with a sprinkle of hazelnut dukkah gives it a special nutty toasty crunch. Bring on the fresh local fruits and veggies!! We’re excited to have them back.

Asparagus, Potato & Black Garlic Salad

The recipe makes more dressing than you need because it’s hard to blend smaller amounts, but it will keep in the fridge for a week or two.

Black Garlic Dressing
4 cloves black garlic
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp chopped chives
salt and pepper

400 g fingerling or mini potatoes
500 g bunch asparagus, ends snapped, cut on the bias into 1-inch lengths
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 cups baby arugula
1/4 cup torn mint leaves
1 tbsp hazelnut dukkah

  1. Combine black garlic, buttermilk, vinegar and maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil while motor is running until fully emulsified. Add chives and blend until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place potatoes in a pot of cold salted water, bring to a boil and cook for 12-15 min or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain, cool slightly, and cut potatoes in half lengthwise.
  3. Heat a large cast iron frying pan over high heat. Add asparagus and cook for 3-4 min or until bright green and lightly charred in places. Add olive oil, season with salt, and toss 1 min longer. Scrape into a serving dish.
  4. Toss potatoes and asparagus with about 1/4 cup black garlic dressing. Add arugula and mint and toss just to combine. Sprinkle with dukkah.

Serves 4

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