Blanch the asparagus in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until bright green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl of iced water. Drain and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch long pieces. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until smoking. Saute the mushrooms just to soften, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and saute briefly until the aroma is released. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, lightly toss the baby greens with about half of the almond vinaigrette. Divide into 6 portions and place on serving plates. Divide the mushrooms and sprinkle across the top.
In the same bowl, toss the blanched asparagus with the remaining vinaigrette. Divide among the salads, fanning the spears across the top.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
When the almonds are cool, transfer to a blender along with the remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Store in a container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
Yield: 3/4 cup
Copyright 1996, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved