This Spring Asparagus Salad highlights beautiful fresh vegetables and a Creamy French Dressing that happens to be vegan. Plus, it is simple to make, delicious to eat and drop-dead gorgeous to look at!
I wanted to make a couple of new salads to break away from our go-to’s, and came up with this colourful Spring Asparagus Salad, filled with fibre and nutrients, packed with flavour and completely vegan. Armed with loads of fresh asparagus from Jilly’s farm recently, I got to work. We eat first with our eyes, and it’s safe to say that this salad will be the star of the table.
Can I Eat Asparagus Raw?
Why yes! Asparagus can be eaten raw! Still remove the woody stems as you normally would if you were cooking them (see below). They are full of nutrients including fiber, folate and vitamins A, C and K. In this recipe I do a quick blanch which keeps the asparagus crunchy and vibrant.
How to Trim Asparagus
The ends of asparagus become woody with age and when exposed to air – this is called lignin. You will want to trim the ends of asparagus prior to eating it for obvious reasons. Nobody wants to eat that! The best way to trim asparagus is to bend the stalk near the bottom until it snaps. It will naturally break off where the lignin ends which is so cool! You can then tidy up the ends by cutting them with a sharp knife. Note that you want to trim your asparagus just before cooking it or serving it as the lignin will re-grow at the cut end.
Creamy (Vegan) Salad Dressing
This Creamy French Dressing is the perfect versatile and flavourful salad dressing. I promise you’ll never buy pre-made dressing again! It’s made with garlic, lemon, dijon, vinegar, mayo and oil giving it both a light and creamy texture. Simply use vegan mayo to make it completely vegan if that’s important to you. This works on so many types of salads so it’s worth it to whip up a large batch and store in a jar for easy salads all week long!
Amazing Salad Recipes
I have so many good veggie forward salads in my arsenal for you to try! Like this Broccoli Salad, Baby Kale Quinoa Salad, or this vibrant Blueberry Spinach Salad. Salads make for a lovely side dish but an even better main! By adding some shrimp, chicken, tofu, beans or whatever your favourite protein is, you can make this a complete meal for those hot days ahead.
Spring Asparagus Salad
Spring Asparagus Salad
This Spring Asparagus Salad highlights beautiful fresh vegetables and a delicious Creamy French Dressing that is totally vegan. Plus, it is an easy and gorgeous looking dish!
For The Salad
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves, packed
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 medium beet peeled and thinly sliced*
- ½ long English cucumber sliced
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- 1 avocado diced
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds optional
For The Dressing
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise use vegan if desired
- 2/3 cup canola or olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Make the Dressing
To prepare the dressing, in a small but tall bowl (or large cup), whisk the garlic, lemon, Dijon, sugar, white wine vinegar and mayo together.
Slowly add the oil while whisking until it is all mixed in. Add salt to taste (I just use a couple of pinches).
Make the Salad
Prepare an ice bath (large bowl of water with loads of ice). Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, until bright green but still crisp. Remove from the pot with tongs and submerge in the ice bath. Remove once cooled and place them on a dry clean dish towel or paper towel to dry.
In a large serving bowl or platter with sides, layer the salad ingredients, starting with the spinach and randomly layering the other salad ingredients. Serve with the dressing and enjoy! Best if served immediately.
*I used a mandoline, but you can simply use a sharp chef’s knife. Candy Cane beets are what we used, formally called Chioggia beets.