Sometimes, on my early morning trips to the greengrocers after school drop-off, I browse the window of the glorious Deli next door and feast my eyes on the sumptuous bowls of salads prepared for the day ahead. I get inspired and go home to recreate or adapt what I’ve seen. This vibrant green salad is just one such adaptation, and has been a healthy hit at our house.
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 bunch broccolini
- 1 avocado
- Handful of snow peas (mange tout)
- Handful green beans
- Handful roasted almonds
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Snap ends off asparagus and then slice into 2 cm pieces at an angle
- Separate broccolini into bite size pieces and slice up the stalks similar to the asparagus
- Top and tail the snow peas and green beans
- Blanche or steam each prepared vegetable separately in briskly boiling water for approx. 3-4 minutes each, then plunge into iced water to stop the cooking process.
- Vegetables should be bright green and al dente - nobody likes soggy, brown veg.
- Drain vegetables in a colander, then tip out onto a clean, dry tea towel to absorb the last bits of moisture. If the veggies are wet the dressing will become diluted and watery.
- If the almonds are not already roasted, then dry toast them in a pan until fragrant and toasty now.
- Prepare a simple vinaigrette dressing with the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice at a ratio of 2:1 and season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. You can also add a crushed garlic clove to the dressing while you shake or whisk it, for extra flavour, but discard before dressing the salad.
- Combine all the vegetables in a bowl and dress.
- Then, and only then, prepare the avocado by cutting in half, removing the seed and peel and cutting into long, thin slices.
- Immediately add to the dressed salad in the bowl and very gently combine so as not to break up the avocado pieces.
- Toss in the roasted almonds and serve immediately.
This is also delicious with a tahini based dressing. There are loads of different versions. I used one from Anna Jones’ book A Modern Way to Eat.
Clean eating brownie points scored – serve just by itself or as a side with meat or fish. Enjoy whilst feeling healthy and smug!