Last week, I had lunch with an old friend of mine at The Cheesecake Factory. Everything was delicious, as always. I ordered the Warm Asparagus Salad and Shrimp Summer Rolls — the perfect pair — and they were to die for! The first thought that ran through my head when I took my first bite was how I was going to recreate these meals at home. Luckily, The Cheesecake Factory is AWESOME and has some recipes on their website.
Adapted from the original recipes with only a few minor changes, I’d say mine turned out great (and my boyfriend would totally agree). The only thing that didn’t turn out so great was the condition of my kitchen… be sure to have your dishwasher empty and ready to be filled, and the mindset to multi-task!
For the Warm Asparagus Salad with Shrimp:
For the Shrimp Summer Rolls:
NOTE: I made these together simultaneously, so the directions are meant for doing so. If you want individual recipes from the site, I have clickable links above 🙂
First things first, roast your tomato for 15 minutes at 425 degrees — blanch your asparagus & sauté your mushrooms. Also, cook up your shrimp making sure not to overcook them… they’re ready when they turn pink. Set aside to cool.
In a large pan, heat up butter spread and add in your asparagus spears (only the ones for the salad). Squeeze in juice from 1/4 lemon and season with salt and pepper. Transfer these to your plates — keep in mind that presentation makes this dish look even more appealing 🙂 I made a border with my spears then filled it in with more.
Add more butter spread to the pan along with sunflower seeds, roasted tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley and juice from 1/4 lemon. Stir and mix thoroughly — add in spinach and cook until wilted. Add this on top of your asparagus plates! This is finished with a sunny side up egg, but we’ll wait until after we prepare the Summer Rolls to do that so it stays warm!
Now, get your rice paper wrappers ready — this is done by soaking it in a hot water for about 30 seconds or until pliable. I struggled with the rice paper — it took me three times to get it right so do not get discouraged if yours crinkle or rip! I also advise you NOT to put them on a wooden cutting board… they will stick… really bad. Layer your filling: spinach, asparagus, shrimp, carrots, mushrooms, green onions and bean sprouts. Carefully fold it up like you would a burrito — if it doesn’t seem like it will work, roll it up tightly and fold the ends. Once you’re done, cut them in half and plate!
I made a quick ‘peanut sauce’ to go with it consisting of peanut butter, water, soy sauce and red pepper flakes.
Okay, now you can cook up your egg — make sure not to overcook it because we want that oozing yolk effect! Top your salad off, and add mushrooms and shrimp to it too! NOW DIG IN. An elegant meal in the comfort of your own home!
These two appetizers really are the perfect pair and compliment each other in every way! I’ll definitely be making these more often. Not only are they a light and healthy option, but loaded with refreshing flavor!