Dave and I actually moved to San Diego in March, and we drove cross-country from Michigan, down to NOLA, across Texas, across a helluvah long desert, and finally to San Diego. Anyway, the point being, I vividly recall the moment of crossing through the dry brown desert mountains and arriving in a lush paradise of greenery and blossoms. And then of course in 3 months it’s all dried up and looks brown just like the desert and we have wildfires.
But it’s kind of magical here this time of year. But Shhh don’t tell your friends, because we’re getting super annoyed with spring breakers.
(I’m currently channeling Liz Lemon’s fear of “youths,” and also feeling super old). So this Spring Salad with Asparagus and Peas is my modest offering to the arrival of spring. Because sadly I’m not laden with citrus like everyone else this year. Because I don’t have a citrus tree. Yet. (Life goals).
But I do know how to identify perfect asparagus when it is in its young, tender, and beautifully green springtime glory.
Thus, I made this salad for my parents’ visit earlier this month and it was deeply enjoyed and eaten with relish. I think my mom demanded immediately for me to write down the recipe for her. And my mom might be a true super-taster guys, so you know that with her endorsement, it’s gotta be good. What makes this recipe so awesome is really the al dente vegetables, so monitor your asparagus closely, folks!
But I’m not going to lie, the roasted shallot vinaigrette is one of my favorite dressings to date. And I’m a goat cheese addict, so, the fact that it has been included here should be a surprise to no one.So let’s plan to eat this salad and then go frolicking in all the greenery and flowers of March. (That’s my plan after all). Oh, and, Happy Easter!
Spring Salad with Asparagus and Peas
_For the roasted shallot dressing_
- 1 large shallot peeled
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
_For the salad_
- 1 lb fresh asparagus
- 10 oz about 2 cups Green Peas (I buy mine fresh at Trader Joes, but feel free to use frozen if you don't have access to fresh)
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 5 oz goat cheese log
To make the dressing:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place shallot in foil and roast in oven for 25 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
- In a blender or food processor combine the roasted shallot, dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper. Blend well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
- Pour into bowl or mason jar and set aside.
To prepare the salad:
- Add ice and water to a large mixing bowl to create an ice bath.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When water comes to rolling boil add asparagus and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp-tender (this will depend on the thickness of the asparagus). Add peas during last 2 minutes of cooking time.
- Drain immediately into a colander and then add vegetables to ice bath to prevent further cooking and to preserve the bright green color. Once completely chilled, remove from ice water and dry thoroughly.
- When you are ready to serve the salad, assemble arugula, asparagus, and peas in a large bowl.
- Toss vegetables with shallot dressing, to taste.
- With your fingers, break of large pieces of goat cheese and drop them all over the top of the salad.
- Serve immediately.