I am convinced that many fresh vegetables are at their best when they are raw, either as a snack, or a salad. I don’t just say this because uncooked vegetables apparently are more nutritional (I don’t really care, honestly), but raw vegetables just taste extra fresh, extra-crunchy and can be sweet and snappy, or even mildly peppery, which is exactly what I look for in a salad. The same applies to young, fresh Spring peas (minus the peppery), which, when eaten fresh and straight from the pod, are floral, sweet little orbs that pleasantly pop in your mouth. In this perfect Springtime salad, you will find all of the pleasurable flavors and textures that come with raw vegetables; sweet, fresh spring peas, delicate floral ribbons of green asparagus, and peppery, crunchy red radishes all tossed with some fresh minty lemon dressing.
Despite the fact that this website does not feature that many salad recipes (yet), I do eat salad a lot… I eat it every day actually, usually as a side to every main dish I’m cooking. Now that it’s spring (almost summer) this salad made with crunchy vegetables and a refreshing dressing is definitely a seasonal favourite at my house as it’s all you need for a light Spring or Summer starter, or as a great side to some grilled lamb chops and other barbecued meats.
Tip: this salad doesn’t really need anything else when eaten as a side, but if you’d like to add a little bit of protein, some Parmesan shavings, or a handful of nuts would be great with it.
Shaved Asparagus, Peas, Radish Salad with Lemon and Mint Dressing
- 300g fresh green asparagus
- 250g fresh garden peas (from about 750g of pods)
- 120g red radishes
- For the dressing:
- Few sprigs of fresh mint leaves
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 60ml extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
MethodThis recipe serves 2 - 3 as a light lunch, or 4 - 6 as a side accompanying other food. -
- Prepare the dressing by combining two-thirds of the mint leaves (stalks removed and reserve some leaves), the juice of one lemon, 1 garlic clove, olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper in a food processor. Process until ingredients are combined well. Set dressing aside.
- Prepare the vegetables by slicing off the woody bottom parts of the asparagus (only a few cm!) and shaving them into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Use a mandolin or sharp knife to very thinly slice the radishes.
- If you have very fresh, young peas you can choose to eat them raw, but if you find your peas are slightly bitter or mealy, blanche the peas a little before adding them: Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch fresh peas in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Quickly drain the peas and rinse them under cold running water to stop the cooking process. If you are using frozen peas, boil them for about a minute or two.
- Assemble the salad: Toss the shaved asparagus, peas and sliced radishes with half of the dressing. Plate on a large serving platter, or in a salad bowl and tear and sprinkle the reserved mint leaves on top. Drizzle over the rest of the lemon mint dressing. I like to finish the salad by sprinkling on some sea salt flakes, but this is optional