This is a spring salad: locally grown, fresh asparagus, spinach and herbs from my garden.
I had to move my herb garden two years ago, thanks to some puppies that came to live with us.
I didn’t want it too far away from the kitchen but it needed to be away from both puppies and bunnies.
The spot I chose was a little patch of flat land on the side of the house.
I chose well.
It seems to have a micro-climate almost like a green house.The parsley thrives all winter long, as does the lavender. The chives, marjoram and oregano have been big enough to harvest for the past three weeks.
It still gets too cold at night to plant any basil, but until then we’ll enjoy the rest.
Asparagus and Spinach Salad with Ham and Goat Cheese
Total time: 25 minutes
- 6oz (180gr) asparagus, roll cut
- 3oz (90gr) fresh spinach
- 2 slices dry-cured ham (Prosciutto, Bayonne), torn into pieces
- 3 tbs fresh marjoram leaves
- 2 tbs fresh garlic chives, chopped
- 3oz (90gr) aged goat cheese, cut into 2 – 4 slices
- 2 tbs bread crumbs
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Lemon Vinaigrette:
- 1 tbs lemon vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
- 3 tbs good olive oil
- The asparagus:
- Fill a large saucepan half full of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- When boiling, drop in asparagus and parboil for 4 minutes.
- Drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of cold water.
- Drain and fill with cold water again.
- When cool, drain and spread them on paper towels and pat dry.
- The vinaigrette:
- In a small bowl mix mustard and vinegar.
- Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking until emulsified.
- The salad:
- Put spinach and herbs in a medium bowl. Add half the vinaigrette and toss well.
- Divide between two plates.
- Put asparagus in bowl and add remaining vinaigrette. Stir well.
- Spoon asparagus onto spinach
- To finish:
- Put oil on a small plate and bread crumbs on another plate.
- Dip goat cheese into olive oil, then crumbs, coating both sides. Set aside.
- Pour any remaining oil into a small nonstick skillet and put on medium-high heat..
- Add ham and fry until crisp. Remove and add to salads
- Add goat cheese to skillet and fry 30 – 45 seconds, just until hot.
- Carefully turn and fry other side.
- Remove, add to salads and serve.
Even after all the years I have been gone from the Midwest and living in a more temperate climate I still marvel at our spring.
In Minnesota spring was short. Some years it seemed like we went from winter to summer and skipped it all together. The spring flowers seemed to burst out of the ground – tulips, daffodils, lilacs all blooming frantically at the same time.
Here spring is more leisurely, like a slow summer lunch.
My plum trees were blossoming in late February. Then we enjoyed the daffodils for a few weeks, followed by the hyacinths.
By the time the hyacinths were dying back the tulips were blooming, and the forsythia, both lasting a few more weeks.
Then the wisteria started, and the iris have been blooming for the past week. The lilacs are lending their lovely perfume to the roses which have just started opening up this weekend.
I’m rather fond of these long, slow springs – and lunches.
We were at one of those today…. A four hour lunch pretty much takes care of the whole day.
Asparagus omelets for dinner tonight I think….
And also to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays, a collection of ‘made from scratch’ recipes
Last update on April 20, 2014