Spring Radish Salad with Asparagus and Blood Oranges

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and trim the radishes, cutting off the tail end and leaves, but retaining a little of the green tops. Cut each radish into four wedges and set aside.

Whisk together the lemon juice and one tablespoon of the oil.

Pour about a quart of water into a skillet or shallow pan and bring to a boil. Trim the ends of the asparagus and peel the lower half. Add a big pinch of salt to the boiling water, reduce the heat and add the asparagus. Blanch the asparagus for about three minutes, then drain and quickly plunge the stalks into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set the asparagus aside.

Meanwhile, spread the pistachios onto a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 4 minutes.

Combine the radishes, oranges, and pistachios in a bowl and toss with the oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the blood orange juice, vinegar, shallots and a pinch of salt; slowly whisk in the remaining olive oil and season to taste with pepper and additional salt as needed. Gently toss the asparagus with this dressing and divide them among four plates. Spoon the radish mixture over the asparagus and top with the arugula. The salad also can be arranged on a platter and served at the table.

  • 2 chilled blood or Cara Cara oranges
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups torn red or green butter lettuce
  • 4 heads Belgian endive, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 3 cups torn radicchio

Slice 1/2 inch off both ends of the oranges and squeeze the juice from those pieces (about 1 tablespoon) into a large bowl. Whisk in honey, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in oil until combined. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing in a small bowl.

With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith from the oranges discard. Slice the oranges into thin rounds.

Add lettuce, endive, arugula and radicchio to the large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer the greens to a serving platter and top with the orange slices. Drizzle with the reserved dressing.

Green Bean Salad with Radishes and Prosciutto

This recipe calls for aged sherry (instead of vinegar), which gives the dressing an added kick. The Italian meat and ricotta are available at supermarkets and specialty foods stores such as Tino’s Italian Grocery or Nona’s Italian Deli.

Yield: 6 servings


1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
8 radishes, sliced paper-thin
1 3-ounce package thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into thin strips
3 tablespoons aged Sherry
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 2-to 3-ounce wedge ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta cheese)

1. Cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Toss beans, radishes and prosciutto in a large bowl.

3. Whisk sherry, mustard and chives in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil.

Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat. Using vegetable peeler,

shave ricotta salata in thin strips over salad.

Blood Orange, Beet, and Fennel Salad

Fennel is at its peak from fall to early spring but is available year around. Once sliced, the bulb can be eaten raw or cooked. It has a faint flavor of licorice or anise adding a new dimension to your meal. The frond is edible and can be used to garnish your dish. Zesty and refreshing, this fresh take on the classic Moroccan salad pairs shaved fennel and red onion with assorted beets and oranges for color contrast.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6


2 medium red beets, tops trimmed
2 medium golden beets, tops trimmed
3 blood oranges
1 medium navel orange (preferably Cara Cara)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced crosswise on a mandoline
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced on a mandoline (about 1/3 cup)
Good-quality extra-virgin olive, pumpkin seed, or walnut oil, for drizzling
Coarse sea salt, such as Maldon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro and/or chervil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash beets, leaving some water on skins. Wrap individually in foil place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Let cool.

2. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from oranges, discard. Working over a medium bowl, cut between membranes of 2 blood oranges to release segments into the bowl squeeze juice from membranes into bowl and discard membranes. Slice remaining blood orange and Cara Cara orange crosswise into thin rounds. Place sliced oranges in a bowl with the segments. Add lemon juice and lime juice.

3. Peel cooled beets. Slice 2 beets crosswise into thin rounds. Cut the remaining 2 beets into wedges. Strain citrus juices reserve. Layer beets and oranges on plates, dividing evenly. Arrange fennel and onion over beets. Spoon reserved citrus juices over, then drizzle salad generously with oil. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and pepper.

4. Let salad stand for 5 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

From the Kitchen Bookshelf

What’s For Dinner? by Curtis Stone, Penguin Random House, 2013

Melbourne native Curtis Stone honed his skills in London at Café Royal, under legendary three-star Michelin chef Marco Pierre White. He also worked at Mirabelle and the revered Quo Vadis before authoring five cookbooks including Good Food, Good Life and Relaxed Cooking, and hosting Top Chef Masters on Bravo. His latest tome What’s for Dinner? is a creative approach to fresh and fuss-free dinners to share with family and friends any day of the week. Stone’s Blood Orange, Beet, and Fennel Salad (see the recipe in this column) is one of my favorites.

Spring Crudo with Fresh Herbs

Crudo is a popular item on chef’s menus for spring because of its fresh flavor and versatility. Crudo, the Italian word for “raw,” refers to a dish of uncooked stuff — usually fish, shellfish, or meat — dressed in a seasoning, such as olive oil, citrus juice, and/or a vinaigrette. Top it with fresh herbs, citrus, avocado, and peppers. The possibilities and combinations are endless, and the end result is always delicious. Making it at home is a cinch. You can find some of the best fish and seafood selections on the California coast at Santa Barbara Fish Market, where I go for culinary inspiration. My weekend shopping list usually consists of anchovies (which I serve on crostini with olive oil, lemon, parsley, and a dash of red pepper flakes), thin sliced albacore tuna (for salads), mussels, clams, shrimp, and scallops (for seafood pasta). On any given Saturday at 7:30 am you might overhear a customer (sometimes a local chef) discussing ingredients and preparation with one of the fishmongers and then suddenly you’ve been inspired to try something completely new in your kitchen. Knowledgeable and friendly, the staff is always ready to offer suggestions on how to prepare and serve the fish. We recently caught up with Santa Barbara Fish Market’s Travis Riggs to get some tips and crudo recipes from his kitchen.

“Crudo is all about super fresh ingredients,” Riggs said. “Tuna, halibut, salmon, you can make a crudo with almost any ingredient as long as you have great quality fresh fish, acid, and tasty oil.” Riggs experiments with different forms of acid (juice from lemon, lime, or vinegar) or oils (olive, truffle, or avocado…) to create a balanced crudo dish.

California Ahi Crudo


1/2 pound fresh Big-eye Ahi Tuna
1 serrano chili, thinly sliced or chopped
Pistachios, roughly chopped
Cilantro, Basil, Chives finely chopped
Olive Oil
1 lemon
Flaky Salt

Sicilian Albacore Crudo


1/2 pound fresh albacore tuna
Sliced black olives
Mint and parsley, thinly sliced or chopped
Dried Calabrian chilies (or dried red pepper flakes)
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Truffle oil
1 lemon
Flaky salt

1. Thinly slice fish (or ask your fishmonger to slice it for you) and arrange it on a plate.

2. Sprinkle the fish with herbs, chilies, and nuts. Finish by sprinkling on some coarse, flaky salt add lemon and drizzle with oil.

Spring Baking Editor’s Pick

The pandemic has taken the decadence out of most of our favorite pleasures, but not this one. In this Ombré Mocha Bundt Cake, whipped coffee creates incredibly colorful and flavorful layers. The coffee helps enhance the chocolate flavor. Vanilla, Dalgona coffee and mocha cake layers come together to make the tastiest bundt, sweetened with a vanilla glaze, then topped with chocolate shavings and chocolate covered espresso beans.

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 10-12


1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups, plus 1 tablespoon flour, divided use
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the Dalgona coffee:

1/4 cup instant coffee
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup boiling water

For the glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Chocolate shavings
Chocolate covered espresso beans

1. Preheat the oven to 325° F and prepare bundt pan by spraying with baking spray and using a pastry brush to evenly coat the details of the pan. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Once smooth, mix in eggs one at a time, followed by sour cream and vanilla. Mix until completely smooth.

2. In a separate bowl, combine 3 3/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt, whisking until combined. Before combining wet and dry ingredients, pour your instant coffee, sugar and boiling water into a mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks form.

3. Create a well in the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients, mixing until combined. Separate batter into three bowls (it should come out to about 2 1/2 cups per bowl).

4. Add half of the whipped coffee and remaining tablespoon of flour into one of the bowls of batter and mix until combined. To remaining whipped coffee, whisk in the cocoa until it’s a fudgy consistency. Add the cocoa-coffee mixture to one of the remaining bowls of batter and mix until combined. One of the bowls of batter will remain vanilla flavored.

5. Scoop vanilla batter into prepared Bundt pan and smooth it into one even layer with a spoon or offset spatula. Repeat with coffee mixture and then cocoa mixture.

6. Bake cake at 325° F for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake for 10 minutes in the bundt pan and then invert onto a cooling rack, removing the pan once it’s cool to touch.

7. While cake cools, make glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla and salt until completely smooth. Pour glaze over the cooled cake and top with chocolate shavings and chocolate covered espresso beans.

Spring Asparagus and Blood Orange Salad Recipe

*the asparagus was gifted to me from Aussie Asparagus, all words and opinions are my own.

For the last 18 months we have been waiting with baited breath for our asparagus to be ready. I have checked each morning for the tiny spears to make their way up through the dirt. I watch the colour change from white, to purple and then finally to a luminescent green. And then I let them all go to fern.

Our asparagus is not ready to eat and for the next couple of years we will only be picking a small percentage of the spears that grow. Asparagus need a strong root system to grow, and this is developed by leaving the shoots go to fern. Each subsequent year you can pick slightly more and by year four you can pick as much as you like.

So you can only imagine my delight when I arrived home from the Local is Lovely Food Photography workshop to a package of asparagus. I couldn’t wait to jump in, create this fresh spring salad and take photos of it.

Broad beans are a little fiddly but the sweet beans are worth the trouble. These ones picked freshly from the back yard, and podded by the whole family, then blanched for one minute and finally podded from the tough, chewy outer shell, add a lovely element to this seasonal salad. Toasting the almonds sends a warm, nutty flavour through the house. I added them to the salad hot and loved the sizzle I heard when they connected with the fresh ingredients.

Spring Salad

I joined Jenny Hansson on KOIN AM Extra to share a fun recipe for National Salad Month. This spring salad is colorful, rich in fiber, flavor, and nutrients and includes 4 seasonal vegetables- asparagus, watermelon radish, snow peas, and sugar snap peas! Each vegetable contains so many health benefits!

Asparagus- full of antioxidants and are known to help decrease bloating.

Watermelon Radish– Besides being beautiful, they are an excellent source of vitamin C. They are also a good source of calcium. Studies have found that they can aid the body in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

Snow Peas & Snap Peas– both are high in fiber and full of antioxidants. Sugar snap peas also provide potassium, which is known to reduce blood pressure.

Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor (without calories) that can elevate any meal or salad. In this salad, I used sumac- a tangy, lemony spice often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. It complements the sweetness of the dressing perfectly! Watch the video below to learn more!

Vegan Blood Orange, Asparagus, and Radish Salad

I’ll never forget the first time I tried a blood orange. I was sitting at lunch in my elementary school’s gross cafeteria. My lunch that day featured a seemingly normal orange. I peeled it. To my shock, and horror, it was blood red. I sniffed it cautiously. It seemed alright. So I braved a bite. A regular orange! But red! What a delight. I went home that day and asked my mom to only buy the fun red oranges from then on. She did not (they weren’t that easy to find at the time). I never stopped loving them, though.

Thankfully, blood oranges are now much easier to find when they’re in season. You’re likely to encounter them at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, your local farmer’s market, or a slew of other grocery chains. Hurrah! Sadly, blood orange season is coming to an end. If you ask me, though, that’s all the more reason to go buy a bushel of them and make this salad immediately.

It’s a good salad. Filling, yet refreshing. And healthy to boot! Plus it’s got a blood orange balsamic vinaigrette that’s absolutely delicious. Seriously – biiiiig fan of that vinaigrette. Both the taste and color were a true joy to behold.

My final point in convincing you to make this salad is that it’s an easy to throw together weeknight meal. Unless you chop your finger off with a mandoline while slicing radishes. But if you’re not a confident mandonline user you can just use a regular old knife so it’s fine.

Spring's Fleeting Flavors

Ramps, asparagus and fiddleheads herald the start of growing season.

While spring heralds outdoor fun and skimpy attire, for me it's about one thing: The start of the growing season. Early every Saturday morning, I race down to the Union Square Greenmarket eager to see what is back. It started in late April this year with ramps and spring garlic. Last week asparagus and fiddleheads joined the lineup. In a flash, spring pea shoots, radishes and rhubarb will appear, followed by strawberries, tender field greens, chamomile (a personal favorite) and herbs and the rest of the early harvest bounty.

The spring trifecta of ramps, asparagus and fiddleheads are a fleeting trio of intense flavors with true "terroir." Their flavors evoke earthy tones of northeast woods and robust profiles of signature tastes. I enjoy them with a little bit of guilt, as they are pricey if you are not lucky enough to forage or grow your own. What I truly love about them, aside from their beauty and being the couriers of spring, is that they are independent of us. As perennials, they have their own schedule, emerging when Mother Nature decides it's time. I celebrate these three almost slavishly, exploring every possible method of cooking and preservation to enhance and extend my enjoyment of them. And when they are gone, it's over till next year. They are a glorious connection to humanity and nature, encompassing passion, discipline and the ephemeral character of life itself.

Ramps are often called spring onions or wild leeks, growing uncultivated in eastern American woodland environments at higher elevations from Georgia up into Canada. They have smooth green leaves that look like lilies of the valley, and a white bulb root. Successful foraging requires cutting the leaves and leaving some of the bulbs -- otherwise the plants will not grow back the following year. Their garlic- and onion-like flavor is distinctive.

Ramps don't need a lot of cooking, just a gentle sauté in olive oil with some salt and pepper. They're perfect in a scant few minutes. They are wonderful with farm fresh eggs, scrambled, fried or omelet style with added cheese or meats. They pair nicely with asparagus or chopped with fiddleheads. I adore making pesto with the leaves and red stems, leaving the bulbs for pickling. Trust me, a holiday gift of pickled ramps or ramp pesto should be reserved for those you truly love. Add the pesto to pasta or eggs or lasagna for amazing flavor. They are wicked good in grilled cheese sandwiches or a panini.

Asparagus are delicious when enjoyed as a seasonal local crop. Out west, the season runs from January through June, though the drought has changed the face of California asparagus farming. In the Northeast, the season is from late April/early May through June, depending on the temperatures. (Nowadays, the asparagus you buy at the store are most likely to come from China, Peru or Mexico.)

There are so many ways to enjoy asparagus, starting with simply sautéing them in olive oil or butter with salt and pepper for a few minutes roasting for 10 minutes in a hot oven with olive oil, salt and pepper or steaming them. Asparagus are great in pasta, salads, omelets or soup. And though I pickle almost anything, I find pickled asparagus rarely do justice to the precious stalk. If I had an overabundance, I would blanch and freeze them instead.

Fiddleheads truly fascinate me. For starters, they are stunningly beautiful. Blink and they have grown into ferns. They are nutritionally a super food with omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, lots of iron and fiber and abundant antioxidants. Their season is the briefest - sometimes just three or four weeks long. They grow wild in the Northeast, typically the New England and Canada regions. When foraging, care should be paid to the plant - removing just three of several fronds and leaving the bulk of the plant intact.

Cooking fiddleheads involves cleaning them well and removing the paper-like brown husks and then boiling in water for 10 minutes. After that, they can be sautéed with salt and pepper, some garlic and devoured alone or added to pasta, chicken or fish dishes. I have been reading about fiddlehead pesto and am tempted to try it this year. I endorse pickling fiddleheads in a gentle brine, as there is nothing like opening up a jar of them in the wintertime and feeling special. (I never share my preserved fiddleheads.)

And then, they disappear. I am always a little broken-hearted the day I get to the market and there are no more ramps or asparagus. Fiddleheads barely make an appearance. I am consoled with the first stalks of rhubarb, crisp and vibrant radishes and the knowledge that tomatoes are in the pipeline.

It is the lesson of truly savoring the moment, which though trite, is true.

1 packed cup of chopped ramp leaves and stem (about 8 ounces or 2 bunches)
¾ cup of chopped walnuts
¾ cups grated parmesan/romano cheese
½+ cup olive oil
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Salt or fresh pepper according to your palate

Put first ramps, walnuts and cheese ingredients in a food processor, then add the oil in a slow drizzle and finish with 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. Remove when chopped but still with some pasty consistency. Use within three weeks or freeze in small containers. I like mine 'garlicky' so feel free to adjust proportions to your preference.

Spring Radish Salad with Asparagus and Blood Oranges
From Sylvia's Table Cookbook

1 bunch Easter Egg or other radishes
12 slender green asparagus spears
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 blood oranges, peeled and pith removed, sectioned
1/2 cup raw pistachios
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons blood orange juice
1 teaspoon champagne or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 cup micro arugula

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and trim the radishes, cutting off the tail ends and leaves but retaining a little of the green tops. Cut each radish into four wedges and set aside. Trim the ends of the asparagus and peel the lower half. Blanch the asparagus in salted water for about 3 minutes, then quickly transfer to an ice bath. Drain and set the asparagus aside. Meanwhile, spread the pistachios on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 4 minutes. Whisk together the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of oil. Combine the radishes, oranges, and pistachios in a bowl and toss with the oil and lemon juice season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together the blood orange juice, vinegar, shallot and a pinch of salt slowly whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil and season to taste with pepper and additional salt as needed. Gently toss the asparagus with the dressing and divide them among four plates. Spoon the radish mixture over the asparagus and top with arugula.

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If you’re in a bit of a hurry you’ll want to check out Pasta Salad with Asparagus. It comes together in just minutes and uses a bottled dressing that has been “dressed up”.

Don’t forget to let us know what you think below and to tag us on Instagram if you try this salad with marinated asparagus.

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Blood Orange, Radish, and Dill Salad Recipe

You can completely skip the dressing if you let the salad sit for an hour to release its juices, then toss. The liquid from the red onions, radishes, and blood oranges makes the most superb of “vinaigrettes”.


  • 4 blood oranges, segmented (How to segment oranges)
  • Medium bunch of radishes (about 15 pieces), thinly sliced
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch dill, chopped

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon honey mustard


Combine the ingredients for the salad in a bowl.

Make the dressing by whisking together the ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl.

Add the dressing to the salad and toss.

Enjoy at room temperature.

Jennifer Dumas

My name is Jennifer! Welcome to Dinners and Dreams. My goal here is to encourage you to try out recipes you never thought you could make at home. Furthermore, I also review products that I have used in the past or currently using to make every day buying decisions easier and to ensure you get the best value for your money.

3 Light and Easy Spring Salad Recipes

The arrival of Spring is a serious call for celebration. Days are getting longer and the air is just buzzing with productive energy. Feelings of motivation, hope, and excitement and hard avoid this time of year as the flowers bloom and the sun shines.

Embrace the energy that spring has to offer by cleaning out, getting organized, refocusing on your fitness goals, and of course, adding a new recipe to your list.

These 3 spring salads have all the right flavors and the perfect nutritional balance. They’re pungent yet sweet, light yet satisfying, nutty and rich.

Trust us, they won’t leave you feeling like you ate a salad for lunch!

1. Bright Spring Salad with Asparagus

Here’s what you’ll need to make this spring salad recipe:

  • Asparagus – Blanch it until it’s crisp-tender but still bright green.
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Feta cheese
  • Toasted pistachios and roasted chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Fresh herbs – Choose one or use a mix! I love to make this spring green salad with a blend of basil, mint, and chives.
  • Salad greens – Any tender spring greens would be good. Butterhead and red leaf lettuce, mesclun, and arugula are some of my favorites.
  • And a bright, herb-flecked dressing – I toss this zippy mix of lemon juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and basil with the asparagus and peas first. Then, I drizzle more dressing over the entire salad when I assemble it. Yum!

2. Spring Salad with Arugula, Blue Cheese, and Berries

Ingredients (makes 1 salad):

Orange Ginger Vinaigrette
  • ¾ cup Olive oil
  • ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped or grated ginger
  • Season to taste: salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme
Arugula and Blue Cheese Salad
  • 2 large handfuls of organic arugula
  • 1 small or ½ large sweet potato, chopped and sauteed
  • ¼ cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup roasted non GMO corn
  • ¼ cup raspberries + blueberries
  • ¼ cucumber, sliced
  • Optional protein: grilled shrimp or chicken


  • Make the dressing: Mix everything except the olive oil in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil while whisking. Store extra dressing in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Massage the arugula: Place the greens in a bowl and add your desired amount of dressing. Massage the arugula by hand and allow it to marinate for up to 30 minutes.
  • Add remaining toppings: Add all remaining toppings, and enjoy!

3. Spring Pasta Salad with Lemony Vegetables and Herbs


Lemony Dressing

  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ small shallot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar/maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup neutral-flavoured oil, I like avocado

Pasta Salad

  • ¾ lb asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 1 cup shelled green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 lb small pasta (I used a mini penne, but orzo, small rotini, baby shells, or orecchiette are all good)
  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, from approximately 1 can, drained & rinsed
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced
  • 6-7 radishes, finely sliced into half moons
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped


  • Make the lemony dressing. In an upright blender, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and oil. Blend the mixture on high until creamy and unified. Set aside.
  • Place a large bowl of ice water on the counter.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Chop the asparagus into 2-inch lengths and add to the boiling water. Boil the asparagus for 2 minutes, or until it’s just starting to become tender. Add the peas to the water and stir for a few seconds, or until they turn bright green. Using a slotted spoon, transfer all of the asparagus and peas to the ice water. Let the vegetables sit and chill.

A few spring salad tips:

1. Massage the arugula

Arugula is a mighty ingredient with its high levels of nitrates and chlorophyll. Some people love the strong, pungent flavor that arugula brings to the table, others not so much. If you want to curb the strong flavor, then you should try massaging the arugula with dressing and marinating as your first step. This will give it some time to absorb the flavors and wilt. We recommend marinating the arugula for 30 minutes if you’re hoping to lighten up the bitterness.

2. Mixing your vinaigrette: order of ingredients matters

When making your dressing, start with the vinegar and add any granular ingredients first. Think things you’d want to dissolve like salt and other seasonings. Since these ingredients won’t dissolve well in the oil it’s best to whisk them with the vinegar first then gradually add the oil.

3. Add protein for extra balance

A well balanced salad offers nutrients, satisfaction and flavor. Adding protein to your salad can help you feel fuller, and even stabilize your blood sugar, helping to prevent sugar cravings and crashes. We recommend grilled chicken, shrimp, or garbanzo beans if for vegetarians!

4. Make it vegan

If you’re a vegan, don’t run away just yet. The word “cheese” may be in the title of this recipe, but simply leave that ingredient out and it becomes fully vegan.

Watch the video: Asparagus and Avocado Salad


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