candice kumai

Who says that you have to go to fancy restaurant to have a "gourmet" meal? Serve this salad in small portions on salad plates rather than family-style in a large bowl to get that fine dining feel for a fraction of the price, says cookbook author and chef Candice Kumai. Bonus: You get to control the quantity and quality of each and every ingredient that goes onto your plate.

Asparagus Ribbon, Sweet Corn, and Cress with Pom Vinaigrette
Serves 4

Recipe for the vinaigrette
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate juice (like POM)

Recipe for the salad
1 pound asparagus, ends snapped off
1 bunch watercress, thick stems discarded
1/4 cup fresh, frozen and thawed, or canned corn kernels

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and pomegranate juice and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Divide the watercress among plates. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus spears into thin ribbons add some to each serving. Top with the corn and sprinkle lightly with some of the vinaigrette (save some to pass at the table).

Slim Saver
Asparagus can be pricey, but it's so high in folic acid, vitamin C, and potassium that I love to add it to salads. Sometimes I'll just use the stalks in salad and save the tips for a stir-fry or to add to a risotto. Voila-you just doubled your investment, superstar!