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Originally published Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 6:01 AM

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Recipe: Asparagus with Shallot-Honey Dressing

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Serves six to eight

Feel free to add grape tomatoes, pine nuts and/or chunks of ripe avocado for more texture and color.

2 pounds asparagus, preferably similar in thickness

¼ cup finely chopped shallot

Juice from 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon honey

2 cloves garlic

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, or more as needed

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice water and ice cubes.

2. Meanwhile, trim the woody ends of the asparagus. Peel some of the stalks, if desired. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.

3. Add the asparagus to the pot and cook/blanch for two to three minutes, until it is just tender and bright green. Use a Chinese skimmer or wide slotted spoon to transfer it to the ice-water bath to cool.

4. Combine the shallot, lemon juice, honey, garlic, sea salt and pepper in a mini-food processor. Pulse until well combined. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream to form an emulsified, creamy dressing.

5. Drain the asparagus; transfer it to paper towels to dry, then place in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Taste; adjust the seasoning or add dressing as needed.

6. Serve at room temperature.

Adapted by The Washington Post from a recipe by Elaine Gordon, a master certified health education specialist and creator of EatingbyElaine.com.

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