You will love this sophisticated salad, tender asparagus, sweet, sticky walnuts and a tang of blue cheese. All brought together with a simple fresh orange dressing. Here is where you use all those inner leaves of your bunch of celery instead of juicing them or adding them into a stock. Do try and tie up the asparagus in the shallots as it makes for a wonderful presentation idea for serving the salad.
Pre heat the oven to 180c. Toast the walnuts on baking paper for 6-7 minutes. Pour the sugar into a heavy based saucepan over a moderate temperature. Stir the sugar with a wooden spoon as soon as the sugar begins to melt. Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and a dark golden colour like honey. Add the walnuts to the sugar, quickly stirring and coating each piece with the sugar mixture.
As soon as the walnuts are coated with the sugar mixture, spread them out in a single layer on a sheet of baking paper. Sprinkle the nuts with the salt and allow to cool.
This next part can be done on a barbeque flat plate or a fry pan. Heat the pan over a moderate to high temperature, add in a couple of teaspoons of oil and cook the asparagus for 1 minute on each side. Do the same for the spring onions until they soften and set aside. Combine the orange zest with the juice, olive oil and red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. To assemble the salad, tie up the grilled asparagus with the spring onions and lay onto a platter. Scatter over the walnuts, blue cheese and the young celery leaves. Pour over the dressing then serve.