This is one of my all-time favorite summer salads.
My Mom’s been making it for years. And now I’ve adopted it into our family rotation. According to my husband, it’s not a main-course meal–since there’s no meat. But it’s a beautiful compliment to fresh bread, grilled chicken, and cold lemonade. And it makes a very tasty lunch.
Grab your fork.
We’re eating fresh strawberries, chilled asparagus, lettuce, and sugar-coated almonds.
STRAWBERRY ASPARAGUS SALAD
1 head romaine lettuce–chopped
1/2 bag of baby spinach leaves–stems removed
1 bundle of asparagus–steamed and chilled
1 pint of strawberries–sliced
1/3 cup sliced almonds–sugar toasted
1/4 cup rice vinegar (in a bind, substitute apple cider vinegar)
2 Tbl Canola or Olive Oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Start by blanching the asparagus. Blanching is a simple method of steaming veggies for only a few minutes so they still have a bit of crunch to them.
Wash the spears and break or cut off the ends. Place them in a double-steaming pan, or a pot of boiling water and let them cook for only a few minutes. You just want to take the raw-edge off of them. While they’re still a brilliant green shade, remove them from the pot and dunk them in a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking process.
Cut the spears into bite sized pieces, season them with salt and pepper, and let them chill in the fridge.
Next: Sugar-toasted almonds.
These are something I always have in my freezer, so I can toss them into a salad at moment’s notice. If you’re a salad eater too, make a big batch at once and save some for later.
Start with sliced almonds–you can also use slivers but I like sliced.
Place them in non-stick pan on medium heat and sprinkle them with a liberal amount of sugar–no real amount here, just eyeball it. Stir the almonds fairly often and as the sugar starts to crystalize and becomes clear, stir them constantly so the sugar doesn’t burn. Eventually, you have small clumps of sugary nuts.
Place them on a plate to cool.
Next prepare the base of the salad. I like to use romaine lettuce for the crunch and baby spinach for the rich green color (and vitamins). Wash and chop one head of lettuce:
Add as much baby spinach as you like. I prefer removing the stems.
Then bring out the star of the show…..strawberries.
Wash and slice a small basket of berries (or more if you love them) and throw them into the bowl with the rest of the goods.
Prepare your dressing using the recipe above. If you have a cool salad dressing bottle, perfect! If not, here’s my mom’s make-shift method……pour everything in an old glass bottle, place a plastic baggie over the top–to keep anything from spilling out–screw on the lid and shake!
Works great every time.
When you’re ready to eat, combine everything in the bowl. Place the almonds in very last so they stay crunchy and pour the dressing over the top. Toss it all together.
Combine it with cheesy sourdough toast (recipe here, minus the tomatoes) and lunch is served.