Niçoise Asparagus Salad; closets; the point of no return


“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, gang
aft agley” (Burns).

And don’t I know it!

It started out simply enough….

Mon mari wanted to go to Bordeaux on Monday to get bathroom fixtures.

Sunday morning he decided to wait a week.

I found myself with a free, rainy day.

Couldn’t work in the garden; I’d already cleaned the house this month… seemed like the perfect chance to make a few, insignificant changes to my Thyme for Cooking website, just a tweak here and there, tart it up a bit…. Nothing major.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

It all started out well enough.  I put some photos together, played with the colors, researched type fonts, rearranged this, moved that….

After a few hours of play I reached Decision Time.  The Point of NO Return.

In order to see how it all looked in real life I had to upload to the server; replacing the existing pages with the new pages. (Yes, I had a back-up on the server…. for which I thanked the heavens at least a gazillion times last night.

I decided to be careful.  I spent the rest of Sunday, carefully making final touches, (so unlike me) and started the upload when I went to bed.

The next morning I started checking it.  For those who don’t know, things can look wonderful in Firefox but horrible in IE and unreadable in Safari – and vice versa.  There were a few minor glitches that I quickly fixed.

Then I decided to make sure the print function still worked. I wasn’t going to bother to check it – I didn’t do anything to it, it’s the simplest thing in the world…..

It crashed Firefox and caused IE8 to hang forever.

Without boring you with the details…. a little after 10 last night I found one measly mistake in one obscure line of code that had been replicated on over 2500 pages. I didn’t even know that that could be a mistake…..

I fixed it.

That’s where I’ve been the last few days.

Mon mari, wisely deciding that I was unfit to be around, built a potential closet for me.

It will fill in the wasted space on either side of the, currently, unused double chimney you see a sliver of.


The very first closet in the house!

He put the sub-floor in both bathrooms so we could draw out the plan.


Not that we normally need to do that, but the arguments over the necessary space between the sinks and the shower door had escalated beyond 2 adults brandishing metal tape measures.

He seemed to think that leaning one’s back on the shower door whilst brushing one’s teeth over the sink was perfectly acceptable.

I, on the other hand, like to be able to see my full length in the mirror above the sink (which I knew was not going to happen).

We compromised on 34 inches (I had been holding out for 42 – in hopes of getting 36)

And to reward him, I bought more green asparagus.

And we pretended that the sun was out and it was warm…..

We had a salad with capers, black olives and cherry tomatoes for lots of flavor.

I used mâche or lamb’s lettuce which appears every spring. Use
spinach or other greens if not available.

The green garlic is raw, but marinated
in the vinaigrette to soften it’s bite.

Nicoise Asparagus Salad

Niçoise Asparagus Salad

6oz (175gr) asparagus
2 tbs capers
10 black olives, dry-cured Greek, Kalamata, Niçoise
10 mozzarella ball
6 cherry tomatoes
4 green garlic
3oz (90gr) mâche (lambs lettuce) or other spring greens
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
3 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs snipped, fresh tarragon substitute 1 tsp dried

The asparagus: Snap off ends of asparagus. Roll cut asparagus in 1.5 inch (4 cm) lengths. Fill a large saucepan half full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling, drop in asparagus and parboil for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of cold water. Drain and fill with cold water again. When cool, drain and spread them on paper towels and pat dry.
The vinaigrette: In a small bowl mix mustard and vinegar. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking until emulsified. Add tarragon.
The salad: Trim and thinly slice green garlic, including green tops. Put into a large salad bowl. Add half the vinaigrette and stir well. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
Wash and spin dry the mâche or other greens. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Pit olives if needed and cut in half
To finish: Add mâche to green garlic and toss well to combine. Divide and arrange on two plates. Arrange asparagus, tomatoes and Mozzarella on salad. Sprinkle olives and capers on top. Drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette and serve, any remaining vinaigrette on the side. 

If you’re in the mood to play critic, have a look at the newest Thyme for Cooking, and render your opinion in the comments below.  I’m a big girl…. I can take it…..

Next week – toilets!  I’m so excited…..

11 thoughts on “Niçoise Asparagus Salad; closets; the point of no return”

  1. It seems that we are all in the Spring mood and are giving a blogs a lift. With this comes thoughts of Spring and dishes with asparagus, rhubarb and fiddleheads.

  2. Sorry about the computer fiasco! Sometimes it’s a pain! All your remodeling is amazing and I can’t wait to see the results; in the meantime, I will be trying this salad. Very tasty sounding!

  3. OOoo, I love both the recipe and the site redesign! This seems closer to your original site design in overall feel.

  4. Hi Katie…oooohhh I feel your computer pain….so glad my husband looks after snafu’s like that….I would be pulling my hair out! Yikes, Ina

  5. The salad: pure heaven. Gadfry you can get glorious fresh there.
    The web-site issue: I’m in awe that you can do that stuff!

  6. Rrrr. Who are the idiots who are prolonging these browser wars?? (I just had to dredge IE out of my hidden applications folder in order to open a charitable website – to be able to fill in the donation form that doesn’t work in Firefox. And I really loathe IE. So much that I think it should be placed in the little space between the walls of your new closet. I applaud you for making sure your site is cross-browser friendly.)
    Mmmmm. Asparagus…. (no local asparagus here yet) And I now know why you keep raving about the green garlic! I stole some out of our garden to taste it. It’s fabulous! Hot, though.

  7. I took a class on programming in java while I was in college and it would be so frustrating when your program wouldn’t work just because of one stupid semi-colon that you forgot or something like that. I’m sorry you had to go through similar pain!
    At least that salad looks good…olives and capers..oh. My.

  8. Val, and I would much rather do a ‘spring spruce-up’ on the computer than clean my house.
    Pam, thanks about the salad…. Me and the computer go way back, a love/hate relationship of long-standing.
    Tracy, thanks, glad it’s finished (maybe)
    Zoomie, there you have it….
    Ilva, thanks – love spring salads….
    Ina, I do the computers – he does the TV
    Tanna, I actually enjoy doing it – when it works LOL
    Elizabeth, and then there’s Netscape and Safari….. Yes, the green garlic has been getting hotter as the season progresses. But I can deal with that heat…
    Joanne, in my case it was a letter that wasn’t capitalized in a tag….. same thing. Drove me bonkers!
    Betty C. thanks…. I just keep telling myself that when we’re done I’ll have a closet.

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