Fresh asparagus is in season around Easter, making it a perfect
addition to this fresh vegetable platter.
1-1/2 pounds asparagus spears or 1 pounds green beans
2 small heads cauliflower, broken into flowerets
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup olive oil or salad oil
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Pitted ripe olives
Lemon slices, halved (optional)
Place a steamer basket in a
saucepan. Add water to just below the bottom of the steamer basket.
Bring to boiling. Add asparagus or green beans. Steam covered until
crisp-tender (5 to 8 minutes for asparagus; 18 to 22 minutes for green
beans). Remove asparagus or green beans from steamer basket; chill
until serving time.
Add more water to just below the bottom of the steamer basket, if
necessary. Return to boiling. Add cauliflower. Steam covered for 8 to
12 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove cauliflower from steamer
basket; chill until serving time.
For dressing in a blender container or food processor bowl combine
vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Cover and blend or process for 5 seconds.
With blender or processor running slowly, add oil in a thin, steady
stream through the opening in the lid. (When necessary, stop blender
or processor and use a rubber scraper to scrape sides.). Season to
taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up
to 24 hours.
To serve, arrange asparagus or green beans on 1 side of a large
platter. Line remaining half of the platter with lettuce. Arrange
cauliflower on the top of the lettuce. Add several cherry tomatoes and
ripe olives. Drizzle vegetables with the dressing. Garnish with the
lemon slices and fresh thyme spring if desired.
Makes 12 side-dish serving.
Make-Ahead Tip: Make the dressing up to a week before serving,
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. The day before,
clean and steam the asparagus or green beans and cauliflower. Arrange
on the platter. Cover and chill. Just before serving, add cherry
tomatoes and olives. Drizzle with dressing