The beginning of spring means fresh asparagus is in season and bunches of the herbaceous stalks start showing up in stores. The Asparagus and Artichoke Heart Salad featured below is a delicious way to bring in the season.
- 1 lb fresh asparagus spears
- 14 oz artichoke hearts in water or marinated rinsed off
- Mixed green lettuces
- 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- ½ tsp of finely grated orange rind
- 2 Tbsp of walnut oil
- 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Trim and discard the woody ends of the asparagus spears
- Slice the asparagus on the diagonal approx 2 inches long
- Steam the asparagus pieces in a steamer basket over boiling water until tender, but not overdone (about 5-8 minutes)
- After the asparagus is done, refresh the pieces by soaking them for a couple minutes in cold water, then drain
- Cut the artichoke hearts into small wedges.
- Fill each individual salad bowl with mixed greens
- Arrange the artichoke hearts and asparagus pieces on top.
- Whisk the orange juice, orange rind, walnut oil, mustard and salt and pepper in a bowl
- If serving the salad immediately, drizzle a little dressing over each bowl
It’s dressed in walnut oil and sweetened with fresh orange juice. Nothing beats fresh when it comes to asparagus. Flash-frozen is fine but isn’t as tasty.
Did you know that it along with avocado, kale, and Brussels sprouts is a rich source of the detoxifying and anti-aging compound called glutathione? Glutathione is a cancer-fighting powerhouse that breaks down carcinogens and free radicals.
Other benefits of eating asparagus:
- excellent source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E K and chromium
- Prevents mental decline
- A natural diuretic that helps to fight edema “swelling”
- It contains a prebiotic called inulin. It helps support the beneficial bacteria in our gut.
- Low in calories
- The calcium, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C in asparagus helps keep your hair healthy.
- In Ayurvedic medicine, it’s known to be a kidney strengthener and an overall toning food for women
- One of the richest sources of rutin (a natural substance found in plants) which together with vitamin C, helps to energize and protect the body from infections.
- It is a source of iron, that boosts the immune system and prevents anemia.
- Said to be an aphrodisiac.
It’s also one of the most ancient vegetables and was revered by the Greeks and Romans.
If you’re boiling it, tie the stalks together and stand them up in a pot. Let the tops peek out of the water so they won’t get mushy.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy asparagus? Please leave a comment below.