I wanted to make a nice Spring Salad; an ode to spring, with all the best freshness that spring has to offer. The first veggie that came to mind was asparagus; I love fresh roasted asparagus, all green and herby. Oh, and pea pods, crisp and snappy. And, green beans, tender spring green beans. Well, since my salad was all the colors of greens in one place, I decided to go with the Fresh Green Spring Salad that you see here. It’s like spring on a plate!
And, I know that some of you are still in the snow, so this might be a welcome change from all that white.
Usually I’m pretty plain when it comes to salad dressing, as I prefer a simple dash of white wine vinegar over my salad. But, for this special Spring Salad I thought I’d make a special dressing. White Balsamic Basil Dressing. Still simple enough to let the flavors of the salad shine through, but special enough to shine on this salad.One thing you may notice about my vinaigrette is that I don’t suggest putting salt and pepper in it. I’ve found that the S&P sticks to the sides of the jar, so I’d rather put it directly on the salad for maximum flavor.
And, by the way, all this veggie goodness in a huge salad for about 300 calories!!! Rockin! Just be sure not to load on too much dressing if you want it to stay around this calorie content.
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- 1 bunch Asparagus
- Olive oil, or oil of your choice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- large handful of green beans
- large handful of sugar snap peas
- ¼ cup whole roasted cashews
- large handful sunflower sprouts
- White Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette (recipe below)
- The woody root end of the asparagus needs to be snapped off before cooking. Take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks; the asparagus breaks (or snaps) where the woody part ends and the fresh delicious juicy asparagus begins.
- Drizzle a small amount of oil in a large cast iron skillet. Place the trimmed asparagus in the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a small amount of oil. Roll the asparagus back and forth to coat them with the oil. Bake in a 400° F oven for about 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and tender when pierced with a fork.
- Carefully place the roasted asparagus onto a plate and allow to cool.
- While the skillet is still hot from the oven, place it on the stove-top on medium-high heat. Place the green beans in the hot skillet and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, until beans are tender-crisp and bright green. Place seared green beans onto the plate with the asparagus. Once the cooked veggies have cooled a bit, place them in the fridge for a cold salad, or leave them warm for a warm salad.
- While waiting for the veggies to cool, make dressing, and set aside.
- If your snap peas have strings, you’ll want to remove those. Hold a small knife in one hand and the snap pea in the other, with the inside curve of the pod facing you. Cut one of the tips of the pea and pull off the tough string that runs along the length of the top of the pod. If your peas don’t have strings, cut the tips off of each end of the snap peas. Cut pea pods on the diagonal.
- Combine all salad ingredients in a large serving bowl and toss with White Balsamic Vinaigrette. Garnish with additional fresh pepper if desired. Serve and enjoy the springiness!
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
- Mix all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake to combine.
- You'll probably have more dressing than you need for the Spring Salad. It'll keep really well in the fridge in the covered jar for a couple of days, just take it out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you want to use it to allow it to come up to room temp.