Sunday, October 07, 2007

September 22, 2007: Green and gorgeous spring salad

Now that winter's rhubarb has been ticked off, on to spring and asparagus! The pretty green vege was my main target on our market trip (though obviously I was distracted by some impulse buying along the way...). I had this salad from stonesoup in mind for them - I can get into quite a stodgy comfort-food rut during winter, but I was sure this perky mix of blanched asparagus and lemony dressing would get me on track for some lighter, fresher eating. It's a nice segue at least, with buttery avacado chunks still providing some richness.

Although Jules intended this as a side for fish and chips, we found that a large bowlful made for a most satisfying recovery dinner after our cheesy lunch. A rarity among salads, I was really looking forward to a second run of this one for lunch the next day. Unfortunately the asparagus ribbons aren't looking their best by then, so try to eat them freshly blanched if you can.

Green and gorgeous spring salad

2 bunches asparagus
120g baby spinach
1 ripe avocado, sliced into thin wedges
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup of your best olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut the fibrous ends off the asparagus spears, then slice them lengthways into ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Fill a large saucepan with water, add salt, and bring it to the boil. Blanch the asparagus ribbons in it for only 1 1/2 minutes, then drain them and rinse in cold water.

Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard and olive oil and season to taste. In a large bowl, toss the dressing through the asparagus and spinach, then add the avocado.

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