Spring is in full swing! Local farmers markets are opening and fresh greens, sprouts, asparagus and berries have come into abundance. Spring is Mother Nature’s detox season, and the pungent (spicy), bitter and astringent foods that are in season help us to naturally cleanse our bodies and remove excess kapha that accumulates over the winter. As the seasons change, our bodies require a different diet and lifestyle to stay balanced and eating seasonal foods is a good way to maintain optimal health this Spring.
I love this simple salad recipe. It is a great stand alone for a meal or can be served as a side dish. It’s full of vibrant Spring foods and balances all six tastes in Ayurveda.
Roasted Asparagus, Avocado and Arugula Salad
- 2 bunches (about 1 lb) asparagus (choose thicker, larger stalks if possible)
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup pine nuts – toasted
- 6 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 tsp grade b maple syrup
- 2 ripe avocados
- 8 cups arugula
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Clean and dry the asparagus. Trim the stalk ends (1-2 inches at the bottom of each stalk) and place the asparagus on a baking sheet. Line the baking sheet with foil for easier cleanup. Drizzle the stalks with 1 tbsp olive oil and then rub each stalk with your hands to evenly coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place prepared asparagus into the oven and let it roast for 12-15 minutes till the toughest parts of the stalks are tender and the leafy tips are starting to get crispy.
While the asparagus is cooking, place the pine nuts into a small skillet over medium heat and toast them for a few minutes until they turn golden brown and aromatic. Be careful, stir constantly, and keep a close eye once they start to brown—they can go from browned to burnt very quickly. Once they’ve turned golden, pour them into a small bowl and reserve.
When the asparagus has finished cooking, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Cut each stalk into 4-5 pieces each. Discard any overly tough ends that did not get tender during roasting.
In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, 1 tbsp lemon juice, basil, honey and a pinch of salt. Vegans can sub agave for the honey in the dressing, or leave it out. As you whisk the mixture rapidly, very slowly drizzle in the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil till emulsified with the juice mixture. Reserve dressing.
Cut the avocado into small cubes. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ tbsp lemon juice to keep it from turning brown. In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, roasted asparagus, toasted pine nuts, avocado and dressing. Toss gently till the ingredients are well mixed and the arugula is evenly moistened by the dressing. Enjoy!
Wishing you Vibrant Living