This colorful salad makes a gorgeous platter at any buffet. Top with basil and mozzarella for ultimate flavor.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Method:

Steam the asparagus in 2 inches of water and cook uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes until tender-crisp. Plunge the vegetables into cold water, then drain and let air dry.

In a large non-stick saute pan, heat the butter and oil and add the nuts, stirring until hot. Add the tomatoes, stir and then add the vinegar. When bubbly, pour over the asparagus and serve.

Note: To trim asparagus, start by snapping them with your fingers and try to get basically the same lengths. If not, trim with a knife.

About the Author: Gail Greco is the food editor of Carefree Cooking; a field editor for Romantic Homes magazine; and a contributor to many other publications.  She has authored more than 15 books on cooking, decorating, and home lifestyle.