Spring in the Midwest can be a tumultuous time. After recently moving back from California, the land of eternal sunshine, I am still trying to get used to the ups and downs. One day the sun is shining warmly on your skin, and the next you are dusting a thin layer of snow from your windshield. Having such drastic changes and unpredictable weather make you so much more grateful for each sunny, warm day. Now it seems that we have finally turned a corner, and the warm weather is here to stay. With this brings the wonderful Spring produce that we all love. One of my favorites is asparagus. With a growing season beginning in early Spring, these tasty spears are now ready and perfect. The farmer's market this week was brimming with perfect looking asparagus spears that were just begging to jump into my basket. When choosing asparagus, here are a few tips I've picked up along the way to be sure that I'm getting the most nutrients out of them as possible: ~ Choose spears that are dark green, firm to the touch and have tight, closed buds on top ~ They have a high respiration rate, so are best if eaten in 1-2 days ~ If you are going to store them, wrap the end in a damp paper towel and place in the crisper Asparagus, in my opinion, needs little more than some garlic, olive oil, and lots of fresh lemon juice. These flavors perfectly compliment and enhance the natural flavor of the vegetable. To do something a little different, I created this recipe and served them raw as opposed to cooked. The result is light, refreshing salad that is perfect for Spring and would be a great compliment to anything on the grill. After all, Memorial day is right around the corner!
YIELDS 5 servings
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- to taste sea salt
1. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the asparagus and place into a large bowl. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. 3. Pour the dressing over the asparagus and add the walnuts and chopped garlic. Toss until all the asparagus is evenly coated. 4. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Also by Kathryn: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Related: Roasted Asparagus Soup
Steamed Asparagus Spring Salad
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Photos: Kathryn Farrugia