A wonderful way to use seasonal spring vegetables to make an elegant salad that goes with just about everything! This salad combines asparagus, snow peas, peas, cos (romaine). We then add goats cheese for creamy and tangy pops to take it up another notch. You could easily substitute with feta (preferably soft Danish Feta) or if you prefer milder cheese, dollops of fresh mozzarella, bocconcini or fresh ricotta would work beautifully. Or leave the cheese out altogether if you're being truly virtuous!
Course: Side Salad
Keyword: Asparagus salad, baby cos lettuce salad, gem lettuce salad, pea salad, snow peas recipe, Spring salad
Servings: 4- 6 people as a side
3 bunches (24 spears)asparagus, woody ends snapped off (Note 1)
120g / 4ozsnow peas(about 16 large or 20 smaller ones), trimmed and string removed
1headbaby gem or cos lettuce (aka romaine)washed (16 leaves, Note 2)
2cupsfresh or frozen peas(Note 3)
90g / 3ozgoats cheese
1cup (loosely packed)fresh mint leaves, , roughly torn
1tsplemon zest(from 1 lemon)
2tbsp(30ml) lemon juice
6tbsp(90ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/4tspeach salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
Add snow peas to pot, boil for 1 1/2 minutes.
Add the asparagus spears, boil for another 1 1/2 minutes.
Add frozen peas, and boil for another 30 seconds or until the water just returns to a simmer, and peas turn bright green.
Immediately drain, refresh vegetables under cold running water until cooled to stop cooking process.
Remove the asparagus and snow peas, blot with paper towels to dry. Leave peas in colander to drain, giving them a toss now and then to help them dry. (It's important to dry vegetables, otherwise it dilutes the dressing and it won't stick. You could use a salad spinner with care, o just let them naturally dry which is easier.)
Split the larger baby cos leaves down the middle, use the small ones whole.
Cut asparagus stems in half on a slight angle.
Shake Dressing ingredients in a jar.
Combine vegetables in a bowl, dress and toss.
Arrange salad on a platter (Note 5). Top with small chunks of goats cheese. Serve immediately!
1. Asparagus ends are fibrous and stringy. Just grab 3 or 4 and snap the ends off - it will naturally break at the right point. (If your asparagus is a bit old and floppy, this won't work so you have to cut)2. Lettuce - Any crisp lettuce will really do here. Baby lettuce looks nice, the way the asparagus and snow peas nestle in them. But you could easily just chop normal size cos lettuce (romaine), even iceberg or other crisp lettuce types.But really, any leafy greens will work a treat with these vegetables and the lemon dressing. Shredded cabbage, baby spinach, rocket/arugula, mixed greens, kale (shred and marinate it using this recipe).3. Peas - You could be a real stickler and use fresh peas here. I used frozen - I totally buy into the whole snap-frozen = better quality than old "fresh" peas thing.4. Goats cheese - feel free to sub with other cheese like feta (preferably Danish), fresh mozzarella (tear by hand), bocconcini, or even blue cheese if that's your thing. (Certainly is mine!)5. For arrangement, hold back half the peas. Arrange and and then scatter over the remaining peas. Otherwise they all fall to the bottom as you arrange! You want your salad pretty and showing all the vegetables!6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 6.