spring pea, asparagus and strawberry salad

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For those of us heralding the arrival of autumn, today’s post might seem a little out of season. But trust me, there’s method to my madness: I’m guest-posting over at my friend Erin’s blog, The Speckled Palate, whilst she and her husband Winston enjoy precious time with their new baby girl!

Erin and Winston reside in Dallas, Texas, hence my reference to the pending arrival of spring (in technical terms, anyway… this forecast might say otherwise!). I can’t quite remember when we first struck up a friendship but over the last year or so, I’ve come to consider Erin as a dear blogging friend across-the-seas. She’s wonderfully creative, kind and nurturing and I know that she’s going to be the most incredible mother to ‘Lady Baby’ (as she’s known for now!).

Such exciting times.

strawberriesI’m including my original recipe below as part of the blog archive, but I’d encourage you to jump over to Erin’s blog post for a printable version (and more talk of how this Aussie blogger became friends with a big-hearted Texan photographer!).

You can also read more about Erin and her journey towards motherhood here and here.

lemon

Back to peas and carrots strawberries.

The salad recipe below is more of a concept than an absolute instructional. Feel free to experiment with flavours and textures, harnessing the best fruit and vegetables that you can find. Add a little avocado for creamy goodness or some pea shoots if you can find nice ones at the market.

Swap the strawberries for juicy chunks of ripe peach, or add sauteed leeks or sweet onions as a beautiful accompaniment to the goats cheese.

goatscheese

As per my notes, feel free to bulk out this recipe with some cooked and cooled quinoa for a more substantial dish. I’ve also added the almonds as an ‘option’ as… well, I’d like to say I was catering for nut-free people but to be honest, I just forgot about them (honestly, I can’t even blame baby brain!). If you do add the nuts, they’ll provide a gorgeously satisfying crunch.

Thanks Erin, for giving me the opportunity to share one of my favourite recipes with your readers. I’m sending you, Winston and (fur kid and big sister) Lucy lots of love from my apartment across the seas!

Oh, and talking about fur kids? I think we’ve got ourselves a little strawberry thief…

Lokiberry1Lokiberryedited

Spring Pea, Asparagus and Strawberry Salad

Serves 2-4 as a side dish

  • 100g edamame beans, shelled (50g shelled weight)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 50g sugar snap peas, stringed
  • large handful of fresh greens (I used baby spinach and rainbow chard, however watercress or rocket would be lovely)
  • 100 – 150g strawberries, washed, trimmed and halved (leave a few small ones whole for garnish)
  • 100g fresh goats cheese (substitute feta), broken into chunks
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (from lemon below)
  • small handful of mint, washed and chopped (reserve a few leaves for garnish)
  • 50g slivered almonds, optional

For the dressing (combine all in a screw-top jar and shake*):

  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed sweet almond oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from half a lemon
  • drizzle of honey or rice malt syrup, to taste
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

If using, scatter the slivered almonds over an oven tray and toast them at 180 degrees C (350 degrees f) for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Blanch the asparagus spears in hot water for 2 minutes or until bright green. Refresh under cold water, drain and set aside.

ice

Slice the sugar snap peas into thin slivers on a diagonal. Place into a medium bowl with the shelled edamame and sliced strawberries. Pour over enough dressing to coat, then toss and adjust seasoning to taste.

Scatter the leafy greens over a serving platter. Lay the asparagus spears over the top and spoon over the pea and strawberry mix. Combine the goats cheese with the chopped mint, lemon zest and a little extra dressing. Gently mix, then spoon over the plated salad.

Scatter over the whole strawberries, remaining mint leaves and slivered almonds if desired.

side

This salad is wonderful with seasoned grilled chicken, fish or pork on a warm spring day. You can also bulk it out with 1 cup of cooked quinoa and some flaxseeds for a wholesome vegetarian meal.

Notes: I mixed my salad dressing with just a tiny bit of honey to retain a ‘tangy contrast’ to the sweet, juicy strawberries. Don’t overdo the sweetness or you’ll throw out the balance of your salad. The ingredients listed above make more than enough dressing for this salad. Add just enough to coat the strawberry and pea mix with a little extra for the goats cheese and leaves. Don’t be tempted to pour over the remainder of the jar unless you’re adding cooked quinoa as suggested above (save it for another salad!).

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50 responses

  1. Great looking salad. I just bought my first strawberries on sale. I can do this salad. I’ve got some darling pea shoots and baby greens in the greenhouse that would also like to join the party.
    And stop it with that cuteness. How adorable is that little guy. You should send that photo to some strawberry board media group!

    • Haha, it turned out pretty great didn’t it! He’s a photogenic little dog. Yay for fresh strawberries Wendy… and for Spring weather. Hope that you love the salad if you try it! x

  2. Oh my goodness Loki!! You are too cute. TOOOOO outrageously cute. Clemmie’s jealous (although secretly she’s also quite chuffed because someone thought she was a puppy on her walk today, even though she’s 3. That’s good going, Clems). But LOKI! Oh my goodness, he’s got that “not guilty” face down to a T :)

    I love your salad. It’s making me crave hazy days and summer warmth … xxx

    • Haha, that’s the wonderful thing about small dogs – forever puppy size! She has no need to be jealous – she is just as cute as my scruffy pup ;) And I did think of you when I included these photos… I’ll try to keep the Loki content up for you and Clemmie. Stay warm lovely, Summer is on the way! xx

  3. Sounds wonderful and perfect for our spring here in Tucson! (Not too much different than Dallas!)

    Okay, that is the cutest and most forgivable strawberry thief ever. I bet Aaron couldn’t get away with it… (Just sayin…)

  4. It sounds simple but this salad is absolutely gorgeous Laura, and with a few details like the almond oil in the dressing and the fresh mint that make it quite sophisticated! I’m very much looking forward to autumn here, even though the summer has been very forgiving regarding temperatures. But summer fruit, I will miss you strawberries and peaches!

    • Oh thanks so much Paula, I appreciate it so much. And yes, I will miss the summer fruit too – mangoes and strawberries are my favourite. I hope that you’re enjoying autumn lovely xxx

  5. Oh Laura that’s a beautiful salad. just perfect for those of us waiting for spring. It’s fresh and seasonal and delicious and I love that photo of your little cutie with the strawberry in the mouth.

    • Thanks so much Suzanne, I hope that you’re enjoying the warmer temperatures – spring is my favourite time of year. And yes, Loki is pretty photogenic, haha. The cutest strawberry thief ever! Xx

  6. I LOVE adding strawberries to salads. My workmates think Im nuts but as you obviously know it totally works! How cute that Loki loves strawberries, he really is growing more and more irresistible!

    • I am so behind on answering blog comments lovely – thanks for this note! And yes, haha… Loki is definitely a strawberry fiend. He likes carrots too, I’ve had to do a lot of reading on appropriate fruit and veg for dogs now that he’s begging for vegie treats! xx

  7. With this warm weather continuing, another salad is always welcome! I love the idea of adding quinoa and almonds for a more substantial dish too :)
    Loki makes the cutest strawberry thief. How can you resist those big brown eyes! Heading to Erin’s blog now!

  8. Gone over to see her blog! What a gorgeous salad, I love the colours! That photo of the strawberry thief with the strawberry in his mouth is just too cute :)

      • Hi Laura, I hope you are well. I’m ok, I’m also behind on reads and on my blog too actually. (too much work in real life). I might be working on a new blog though… lets see what I do! xx

  9. Still aww-ing over that picture of Loki :) I love everything about this salad – the colors, the flexibility, the different textures, and the dressing sounds divine too. Whether it makes me think of spring or autumn, it’s something I want to make and eat right now!

  10. Laura, I was born in Dallas, TX, raised in Houston, TX, university in Austin. Your friend sounds lovely – a first child, a daughter is a special time. Your little puppy also stole my heart – doggies can be like little kiddies sometimes. I love this salad. Yes, strawberries are not in season yet, but as you say, Spring (and peas!) are well on their way. Your photos are so colorful and vibrant. They capture the lovely freshness and brightness of the salad. Goat cheese is my very favorite; so tangy and creamy. Fresh pressed almond oil to echo the crisp almonds in the salad – genius. I’ll make this for sure; we eat at least two salads a day around, always experimenting with new textures and flavors. Beautiful dish, Laura.

    • You always write such gorgeous notes Shanna, sorry that it’s taken me so long to reply! Interesting how paths cross. You guys always sound/seem so far away from me in little Perth, Australia. All of the US states blend into one ‘America’, haha! Thanks for the sweet words, hope that you enjoyed this if you tried it! xxx

  11. What a great recipe for a salad, Laura – hi, by the way! :-) From a guy’s perspective, I’ll be honest: I wish there were a nice, juicy steak among the ingredients! ;-) Anyway… I love your super cute dog – especially with the strawberry in his mouth! Adorable. Hope all is well with you.

    • Haha… Aaron thought exactly the same thing about this plate of salad. He had chicken on the side! Thanks heaps Stefano, hope that you are well too… I always think of you, Francesca and little her majesty with fondness! :)

  12. This salad has everything Laura – visually absolutely stunning and flavour to boot! If only it were spring already… ;)
    Your little Loki is such a sweetheart – gorgeous photo, capturing those beautiful gentle eyes!

    • Thanks Soph, how are you? Hope that life has been treating you well! Sorry about the delayed reply, argh… my computer is still busted so I am SO behind on blogging stuff xx

      • I am well, dear laura! We have been working hard & @ our allotment. it is 150square meters & we are there nearly every day,working hard so I have been posting not so many new recipes lately! ;)

  13. Pingback: Spring Pea, Asparagus and Strawberry Salad | homethoughtsfromabroad626

  14. Oh, this post is just darling! Look at that adorable little pup! And what a beautiful recipe as well. I’ll have to give this one a go when I get my hands on some strawberries soon. I was drooling over that cheese… Hope you are going well dear friend xo

    • Oh thanks beautiful one! Sorry for taking so long to reply to this, argh! My laptop is still busted so I am so behind on everything that I can’t manage simply on my iPhone (I hate using WordPress on it, perhaps a little stubborn of me but… well, that’s me). Hope you are well too! Life here is busy but I’m grateful for every part of it xxx

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