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, based on one from Claudia Roden’s masterpiece cookbook The Food of Spain, is a deceptively simple mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley, and crushed tomato. Somehow it telegraphs coolness and warmth, acidity and richness all at the same time. When poured over blanched asparagus, it transforms the green and subtle vegetable into a sumptuous and well-turned-out dish—exactly what a great dressing should do.
- Kosher salt
- 2 1⁄2 lb. asparagus, trimmed
- 1⁄4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. capers, drained
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
- 1⁄2 medium red onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into wedges
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain; transfer to a serving platter.
- Whisk together the oil, capers, lemon juice, parsley, tomatoes, and onion in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the asparagus, garnish with the eggs, and serve.