Roasted Asparagus Salad

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Roasted Asparagus Salad with Fresh Winter Strawberries
Photo courtesy of Hoffman Media 2010

Grand Prize Winner, Home Cook Division
Recipe submitted by Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Yield: 6 servings

  • 4 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup plus 1 1⁄2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 30 fresh asparagus spears, tough ends removed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) container fresh Florida winter strawberries, sliced 1⁄4 inch thick (about 2 1⁄2 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese with peppercorns
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a medium skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet, and drain on paper towels. Drain bacon grease from skillet. (Do not wipe skillet out.)

Add 1⁄4 cup olive oil and marmalade to skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until marmalade is melted, loosening brown bits from bottom of skillet while stirring. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Spread asparagus in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle asparagus with remaining 1 1⁄2 tablespoons olive oil, tossing gently to coat. Sprinkle evenly with salt.

Bake until asparagus is barely tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Place asparagus on a large platter, or divide evenly among 6 salad plates.

Stir strawberries into marmalade mixture, tossing to coat. Spoon strawberry mixture evenly over asparagus. Top evenly with bacon, feta cheese, and pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe credit Taste of the South magazine.

Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, swept the home-cook division by winning the best recipe in two categories – starters/salsas and salads. Judges chose Estabrook’s Savory and Sweet Florida Strawberry Crostini with Balsamic Syrup as the best starter recipe. Her entry for Roasted Asparagus Salad with Fresh Florida Winter Strawberries was the winning salad and was voted the best overall recipe in the home-cook division. Estabrook’s winnings totaled $2,000.

Estabrook enjoys re-creating recipes she finds in old cookbooks. Passionate about cooking and baking and since early retirement from real estate. She has competed in eight national cook-off’s including the National Beef and Pillsbury Bake-Off twice and has won numerous other cooking contests. In 2007 she won the grand prize in Applebee’s Big Burger Showdown contest co-sponsored by Food Network. A chicken recipe she created made it to the regional finals in the National Chicken contest.

Estabrook says, “Contest cooking is a hobby and I tackle every contest I enter with a lot of enthusiasm. I am competitive and remain focused and calm while in the cook-off arena.”

Living in northern Wisconsin, Estabrook forages for wild berries in season, pick wild mushrooms, hazelnuts and cranberries. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources magazine has published two articles she wrote since retirement, one on picking wild berries and another on drying wild flowers and weeds.