Spring Asparagus Salad
Yesterday was the first day of Spring and it was a beautiful day, sunny, warm-ish……….let’s face it after a long winter, the first day its over 40, the flip flops come out and the coat goes back to the closet, or in my case the back seat of the car…..it’s a coat closet right??
Spring brings to mind nature and renewal. I plan my garden, wait to see if all the perennials made it through the winter, and the grass turns green.
Speaking of green………Asparagus……it is all things Spring. We were finally able to cut form our asparagus patch last year. If you have the space and patience grow your own. Nothing and I mean nothing compares!
Asparagus is healthy too………. High in vitamin K and folate. Asparagus is also high in anti-inflammatory nutrients and provides a wide variety of antioxidant nutrients….including vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese and selenium.
In ancient times, asparagus was renowned as an aphrodisiac…….hmmm. Tim says we should double the size of our garden!!!
We are a while away from having our own asparagus, but it is abundant at the grocery stores. Tim and I love asparagus, and buy it frequently. Roasting is our fav way to prepare asparagus as there is something about roasting veggies that bring out the best in them.
But I wanted to have a salad………what could I add to roasted asparagus ……..I pondered the question, opened and searched all the cupboards,the frig, and freezer. Heres what I came up with.
Cous Cous is one of my favorite things………the pearl kind. There is something about the texture and the look, not to mention they take on the flavor of whatever you use them in. They are pretty! At my local grocery store I can find pearl cous cous in the freezer section in a steamable bag. This is a score…..no boiling water, no draining, no extra dishes! Tim appreciates the no extra dishes, as he is the CEO of the dishwashing department at “What the Forks for Dinner”.
So far I have roasted asparagus, and cous cous……….how about some color….dried cranberries, and lemon zest….perfect. Now, all I needed was spice/herbs, crunch, and cheese.
Another spring-thing to me is tarragon with it’s distinctive anise or licorice flavor. It is excellent with seafood, fruits, poultry, eggs and most vegetables, as well as sauces, particularly bearnaise sauce. Tarragon can easily overpower other flavors, so a little goes a long way. Used fresh herbs whenever you can for the best flavor.
For crunch I went with toasted walnuts…lots of omega’s for good health. Goat cheese for the the creamy tang that has less fat and calories than cow’s cheese. It is gluten free, and full of calcium, protein and probiotics. So….good for you!
Top all these yummy ingredients with a light lemony dijon dressing and you have a beautiful, nutritious Spring Asparagus Salad, that you can eat either warm or cold.
So, welcome Spring with a Spring Asparagus Salad!
- ½-3/4 pound asparagus
- ½ teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 2 cups cooked Cous Cous
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 oz goat cheese
- ½ cup toasted walnuts
- 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped
- Zest of one lemon
- ⅓ C olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 2 Tablespoon Red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 425* F.
- Trim the asparagus. Place trimmed asparagus on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray (I used coconut oil spray), Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning.Roast in the oven until just tender, about 10-15 minutes. Cut into bite size pieces.
- Place cous cous, cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese, tarragon, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and asparagus. Serve warm, or cold.