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Asparagus & Herb Salad

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I love salad. Real salad, not the boxed mixed greens kind of salad, but the kind of salad you need a fork AND a knife to eat. That’s what I’m talking about. The kind of salad that actually gets better in your fridge overnight. The kind of salad that gives you more vegetables in one sitting than you had the entire day before. It can take a little bit more effort to make, but it will feed you for days with its flavonoid-filled enthusiasm.

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I grew up on various versions of this particular one. It magically popped up around asparagus season (my awesome Mom being the magician), and versions of it were either on our dinner table or in our refrigerator throughout the summer. It never lasted long (I have three sisters), so I recommend you make extra if there is stiff competition for leftovers in your house.

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Wintery Spring Salad

Spring is a funny time of year for food. We start to crave fresher flavours – salads, smoothies and more raw food, even if Mother Nature is telling us not to put away our winter clothes just yet. This salad speaks well to this awkward time of year. It is fresh yet hearty and full of raw, lush winter vegetables, allowing us to curb those spring time cravings and still eat locally.

This combination of vegetables could be thinly sliced or grated to create more of a traditional coleslaw, but I like the chunkier dice and slice, which really makes for a juicier salad (I’m looking at you cabbage!). My Mom was actually the first person I saw do it this way, no kale massage, no small slices or dices, no apologies, just bold, beautiful vegetables, embracing their voluptuous fibers. You can taste the confidence. Not pictured – a sweet bartlett pear to bring out the sweetness in the vegetables, just dice it up and toss it in with the rest.

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These vegetables vary in colour and pigment, which means that we are getting a large variety of antioxidants from this salad. On top of that, we have the kale and cabbage, both being from the powerful cruciferous family, offering up their mighty I3c (Indole-3-carbinol), crushing cancer like it’s their job.

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It needs to be properly dressed to come together. This dressing is tart and rich, and it compliments this salad very well. It’s creaminess comes from avocado and soaked cashews (instead of mayo/yoghurt), and it is where the fat comes from too, no need for refined oils (we are all about whole fats whenever possible). Add as much garlic as you are comfortable with, if too much raw garlic makes you feel hung-over (anyone?), just add one small clove and some extra green onions. (more…)