Well, we’ve already gone through several pounds of asparagus in the past few days. I really resisted the urge to jump up and down when I saw fresh asparagus at the grocery store last week. It was like seeing a long, lost friend. Sure, asparagus might be available year round in some places, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to taste good. No, spring is the really the only time to really enjoy asparagus. The stalks are tender, juicy, and sweet – just how I like it. None of that wooden, stringy stuff you can buy in November. Eating foods that are in season means that you can get excited like that and really appreciate and savor the available produce. I realized that I needed to stop obsessing about peaches being gone in October and embrace the pears and apples. And wow – I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated and enjoyed citrus as much as I did this winter. This Blood Orange Asparagus Salad with Ginger Miso Dressing highlights the changing of the seasons.
It’s time once again for the monthly #EatSeasonal roundup! I love seeing what my friends come up with each month. You can see what is in season for March on Vintage Mixer or by clicking on the image below, and follow along using #EatSeasonal on Twitter, FB, and Instagram.
Check out these recipes featuring March produce:
A Zesty Bite – Whipped Lemon Ricotta Open Faced sandwich
Well Plated – Curried Broccoli Chickpea Hash
Climbing Grier Mountain – Baked Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Artichokes with Blue Cheese
Completely Delicious – Roasted Asparagus and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Bless this Mess – Spinach and Mushroom Marinara with (or without) Meatballs
Cookie and Kate – Greek Broccoli Salad
Kitchen Confidante – Baked Eggs with Asparagus and Peas
Vintage Mixer – Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Cafe Johnsonia – Blood Orange Asparagus Salad with Ginger Miso Dressing
Kelley Mountain Mama Cooks- Avocado and Mango Salad with Citrus Poppyseed Dressing
Oh, Sweet Basil- Creamy Garlic Lemon Butter Pasta
Foodie Crush – Spinach, Leek and Bacon Quiche
March is sort of the changing of the guard when it comes to spring produce. We’re at the tail end of citrus and a few other things, but it’s just the beginning for others like peas and asparagus. It varies, of course, depending on where you live. In any case, to me spring means salads. Lots of salads to use up those new, tender greens and spring veggies. I didn’t use leafy greens for this salad because I wanted it to be all about the asparagus. I kept it raw, but sliced the stalks into thin rounds. Each bite has a refreshing, bright crunch. I added avocados and blood oranges to play off the other flavors and textures. I love the juicy, tartness of citrus in salads. Avocados are usually available year-round, but this time of year they are supposed to be particularly good. (Confession: it’s really hard for me to find good avocados in Boise, so I make do with mediocre ones. Sigh.)
The Ginger Miso Dressing isn’t overpowering like you might think. Straight out of the bowl it packs a salty, gingery punch. But it’s mellowed by the other ingredients and enhances the other flavors. I added a sprinkle of chopped raw almonds for another crunchy element. It’s quite a delicious salad and I found myself delving right back into the bowl for more after my first helping was gone. Luckily asparagus will be around for a few more weeks so I couldn’t get too sad when I savored the last bite. :)
- For Salad:
- 1 lb. fresh asparagus
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 medium blood oranges
- 1 large ripe, but firm avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated blood orange zest
- ½ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
- For Ginger Miso Dressing:
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons avocado or another flavorless oil
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh ginger, grated
- 1 Tablespoon light miso
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Pinch garlic powder or minced garlic
- For Ginger Miso Dressing - place all of the ingredients into a blender or small food processor. Puree until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- For salad - snap the tough ends from the asparagus spears. Line the spears up lengthwise and slice into very thin rounds, about 1/16-inch. Place in a serving bowl along with cooked quinoa. Add half of the Ginger Miso Dressing and stir well. Let stand so quinoa can absorb some of the dressing.
- Meanwhile, trim the ends of each orange so it will sit flat. Use a sharp knife to cut away the peel and pith as close to the flesh as possible. Over a bowl to catch the juice, carefully use a paring knife to separate the orange segments from the membranes. Place the segments in the bowl with the quinoa and asparagus. Gently toss again. Arrange the avocado slices over the top, sprinkle with chopped almonds and orange zest. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top of the salad. Serve immediately.