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A Taste of Nevada: Asparagus and Scampi Salad

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**For more great food from America's party state, Nevada, go to the Facebook page called A Taste of Nevada**

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The Silver State of Nevada is truly one of the most gorgeous geographical places on the face of the earth. Whether it be the unbelievable beauty of the Nordic lake known as Tahoe, the high desert of the Reno area or the low desert landscape of southern Nevada, the gateway to the southwest, the magic of Nevada is alive and well. There is probably no state in America with such a colorful history and as you will now learn from this new series by internationally renown chef and bestselling cookbook author, Larry Edwards, there is no state which can match Nevada for fresh, healthy and downright delicious food. So, whether you're sunning on the shores of Lake Tahoe, revisiting the west at Virginia City, enjoying "the biggest little city in the world," marveling at the beauty of the capital city of Carson City, playing in Las Vegas or frolicking in fabulous Fernley -- a taste of Nevada is only a fork away!

When it is late spring and summer in the Silver State, nothing gets me in the mood to celebrate the season quite like perfectly blanched asparagus. When blanched, asparagus keeps its fresh crunchiness and that incredible slightly-nutty fresh flavor. Now imagine that perfect asparagus when served as a part of a salad with some freshly sauteed scampi!

As a finishing jewel to this truly incredible salad, you simply drizzle a Balsamic vinaigrette over its beauty. Serve it with some crusty Italian bread and pour a glass of hearty red wine and you will be enjoying one of the true jewels in the culinary crown of salads.

Ingredients needed to make Asparagus and Scampi Salad (serves 2):

  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sweet baby onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced
  • salad greens (your choice)
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar

Steps:

  1. Rinse the shrimp under sold water, pat dry and set aside.
  2. Place the asparagus in a pot of boiling water and cook 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus and place in a bowl of ice water (this will stop the cooking process and you have just par-boiled the asparagus).
  3. In a medium saute pan or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the jalapeno pepper and garlic and saute 2 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and saute 5 minutes (or to desired doneness).
  5. Mound the salad greens onto serving plates. Sprinkle the baby onions over the greens. Frame the greens with the sliced tomatoes and lean the asparagus spears over the tomatoes (see pictures in slideshow).
  6. Place the shrimp atop the salad.
  7. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil and vinegar. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."

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