Pecans, the only native nut in the United States, can actually double the cholesterol-lowering effectiveness of a traditional heart-healthy diet, according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition. That makes two great reasons to enjoy today's healthy recipe from the CA Pecan Growers Association. Enjoy this vegetable-rich salad with a sprinkle of pecans which as flair and a hearty crunch.
20 thin asparagus spears
12 oz. jar roasted peppers, preferably red and yellow mixed, drained
2/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sherry or wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 lb. mixed salad greens
Break off tough ends of asparagus. Heat 1 inch of water to boiling in a deep skillet. Add asparagus and cook two minutes to blanch. Drain and transfer asparagus to bowl of ice water to quickly chill. Drain and set aside or wrap and refrigerate until serving.
In a medium bowl, stir together peppers, pecans, and basil. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and salt to blend; whisk in oil to make dressing. To serve, mound salad greens in center of serving platter; arrange asparagus in two clusters on opposite sides of greens. Spoon pecan mixture over greens and asparagus; drizzle dressing over all.