Oriental Asparagus Salad
1 1/4 pounds fresh asparagus spears
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into matchstick-sized pieces
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Rinse the asparagus under cool running water, and snap off the tough stem ends. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Fill a 2-quart pot half-full with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus to the boiling water, and boil for about 30 seconds, or just until the asparagus pieces turn bright green and are crisp-tender.
Drain the asparagus, and plunge them into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain once more, and transfer to a shallow dish.
Add the red pepper and water chestnuts to the asparagus, and toss to mix.
Place the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and stir to mix. Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture, and toss to mix well.
Cover the salad, and chill for 8 hours or overnight, stirring every few hours, before serving.