Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad

Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad

Early spring always feels like such a tease. Two weeks it was 80°F and the next week we were watching spherical snow fall from the sky and land on the road where it turned instantly into slush. Even though March feels like it should be all spring and flowers and showers, it's usually the snowiest month of the year for us. Whatever accumulates never lasts long this time of year, melting with in a day or two. 

The moment you have yourself convinced  it's finally spring and the warm weather is here to stay, Mother Nature takes the wheel again and drops some white stuff outside your window. It is too warm for soup and too cold for salad all at the same time. Potatoes and winter squash are long gone, but asparagus and spring radish are yet to come. This is the limbo between winter and spring we are in. I desperately crave fresh produce picked from the garden, a dose of vitamin D from the sun, and a late evening where the skies stay light past 6pm.  

Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad
Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad

I wrote a poem about this game of limbo when I was still in middle school, and recently surfaced it back up in my piles and files of "old stuff." For a change of pace, I'm sharing the poem with you all today. Isn't it funny to look back at stuff you did "way back when?"

Spring Storm Poem

Snow falls from the blue-grey sky

Wind whirls as snowflakes fly

Dead trees seize the white powder

And what escapes from the raspy limbs

Floats helplessly to the open jaws

Of the cold stone-hard earth.

Clouds hover beyond the sky

Blooms and buds freeze under cold frost

Spring colors are lost.

Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad

Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad

Paleo, Primal, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

Roasted asparagus and fresh radishes make for a springy pair!

Serves: 2 as a large side, 4 as a small side   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup radishes, sliced

  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • Dash each of Salt & Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Chop the thick, white-ish ends off of the asparagus and discard. Chop remaining asparagus into 3rds and toss in avocado oil. Spread in even layer on baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until asparagus begins to crisp. Remove asparagus from oven, and allow to cool.
  3. Toast pine nuts in oven on a separate baking sheet for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned.
  4. Meanwhile, make dressing: place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
  5. Assemble salad: Place spinach in large salad bowl, and top with asparagus and sliced radishes. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Use a knife to finely slice the red onion and add to salad. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve.

2 Comments

Winter Salad with Kale, Squash, Apples, & Fennel

Merry Christmas Eve! Happy Holidays! Happy whenever you find yourself doing today! For me, it's "Happy Another-Excuse-To-Plan-A-Menu Day"! 

If you are looking to build a holiday menu that everyone can enjoy, regardless of dietary preferences, you know my struggle well: what is paleo, vegan, and still filling? Salad is the easy answer. But it's so hard to make salad feel "right" in the middle of winter. Tomatoes? Hard and flavorless. Cucumbers? Chilling. Butterhead lettuce, arugula, even baby spinach--just plain out of place. It's easier to pass by with gratins, mashes, and roasts. And don't get me wrong--I love anything au gratin (especially this cauliflower gruyere gratin!) - but sometimes it's nice to have a light dish on your holiday table, to balance out all of the traditional winter fare.

That very question brought me to this salad. (Now, before you say, "Salad is NOT filling," hear me out). This salad, with massaged dino kale, is stuffed with wintery goods that will fill you up: roasted delicata squash, toasted pepitas, and fennel, and crispy apples. Avocado for good measure — because what salad isn’t better with avocado? It has crunch, a touch of sweetness, and a savory kick. And it fits right in on a crowded table of wintertime foods. And if you're still not content, I recommend adding some shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. 

Drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette, this salad breaks away from the heavy dishes we all know so well, with out feeling out of place. It's a piece of fresh in the midst of winter--often a much needed twist. Since this salad is made with hearty vegetables, it can be made several hours ahead of time, making your holiday meal less stressful! Just wait until the last minute to add the dressing. 

What new dish will you be trying this holiday season? How do you make sure everyone is jolly when they take their seat at the holiday table? 

P.S., that delicate looking garnish is a fennel frond — the top "leafy bit of the fennel bulb. Save a tiny bit when you’re chopping up the fennel, and put it on top for good looks. 😎

Winter Salad with Kale, Squash, Apples & Fennel

Winter Salad with Kale, Squash, Apples, & Fennel

Published December 24, 2014 by
   Print This Recipe

Serves: 8   |    Active Time: 35 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 delicata squash, seeds removed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 6 cups kale, chopped into bit-sized pieces
  • Dash salt
  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup fennel, sliced thin
  • 1 apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 avocado, sliced or cubed
  • Balsamic vinaigrette  

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss the sliced squash in the avocado oil. Spread it out on a cookie sheet, and place in oven. Bake until golden, soft all the way through, and browning on edges. Remove from oven and set aside. 
    2. Assemble salad: Place the chopped kale in a salad bowl, along with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt. Using your hands, rub the olive oil into the leaves until they are bright green. This softens them a bit, making them nicer to eat and easier to digest.
    3. Add the fennel and apple to the salad bowl. Top with roasted squash, avocado, and pepitas. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette to taste. Optional: garnish with fennel fronds.

    2 Comments