Espàrrecs Amb Vinagreta (Catalan Asparagus Vinagrette)
Every dressing works its own kind of transformation on the foods it adorns, but our sincerest awe may be reserved for Catalan salsa vinagreta. This perfect rendition, from Claudia Roden's masterpiece cookbook The Food of Spain (HarperCollins, 2011), is a deceptively simple mixture of olive oil, white wine vinegar, chopped parsley, and crushed tomato. Somehow it telegraphs coolness and warmth, acidity and richness all at the same time. When poured over steamed asparagus, it transforms the green and subtle vegetable into a sumptuous and well-turned-out dish—exactly what a great dressing should do.