1 ½lbAsparagustough ends trimmed (preferably baby asparagus if available)
Zest of 1 lemon
Make the Mediterranean salsa. In a mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, shallots, garlic and herbs. Season with salt, pepper, and sumac. Add lemon juice and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Mix and set aside so flavors will meld nicely (or, if you prefer, cover and chill until ready to serve).
In a cooking pot or large saucepan, bring 8 cups of water, seasoned with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water ready next to it (this is an ice bath for the blanched asparagus).
When water comes to a rolling boil, add the prepared asparagus. Boil until tender, 3 to 4 minutes (depending on thickness). Remove with tongs, or drain in a colander, and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water for 1 minute to stop the cooking process. Drain; set aside to cool down a bit (or if you prefer to serve it as a salad, chill in the fridge for a bit).
When ready to serve, arrange the asparagus on a serving platter. Season with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest. Top with the Mediterranean salsa. Enjoy!
Prepare ahead Instructions: you can serve this at room temperature or chilled. If you plan to prepare ahead and chill, you can do so a few hours or one night in advance. Store the Mediterranean salsa and asparagus separately in the fridge, in tight-lid containers until ready to serve.