As the name suggests, Spring Salad is a seasonal salad filled with spring’s bounty of vegetables: Asparagus, snow peas, peas and cos lettuce (romaine), dotted with goats cheese for some creamy tang and a fresh lemon dressing. Elegant, pretty and refreshing!
Welcome to Day 9 of the inaugural Holiday Salad Marathon, where I’m sharing 30 salads in a row through to Christmas Eve – just for something different to the usual sugar-loaded baking countdowns!!
And I actually have to share this one today, otherwise I’ll have to change the name to “Summer Salad” (today’s the last day of spring)!
This is a wonderful, vibrantly green salad that makes the most of vegetables that are in season during spring, when they’re at their cheapest and best.
The whole point of this Salad Marathon is to share ideas for something more interesting than a dreary iceberg lettuce with tomato and cucumber routine, and this salad ticks that box!
A combination of cooked and raw ingredients, this salad is made with blanched asparagus, snow peas and peas which are then piled onto baby cos lettuce (aka romaine) leaves, dotted with soft goats cheese and drizzled with a lemon dressing.
“Seasonal” is often no more than a token word in the food world, but this salad’s as truly seasonal as it gets!
What goes in Spring Salad
Here’s a visual of what you need (which I realise I just listed above… this is just in case you glossed over the words!!😂)
The vegetables are all conveniently blanched in the same pot to simplify the recipe. I just add them in the order it takes for them to cook until “tender crisp”, meaning they are just cooked: Not raw but still a bit crisp, rather than boiled to death, soggy and sad.
As for the baby cos lettuce (aka romaine), the smaller leaves can be used whole. For the larger outer leaves, I like to cut it down the middle, like so:
There’s nothing this salad won’t pair with (Asian food aside, really). Alongside a quick Honey Garlic Chicken Breast, or BBQ Smothered Beef Brisket. A classic piece of seared fish or Crispy Skin Salmon (perhaps with a Lemon Butter Sauce), a big steaming bowl of Creamy Chicken Pasta or as a side to a summer Marinated Vegetable Pasta Salad.
Classic, seasonal, vibrantly green and elegant. I think you’ll enjoy this one! – Nagi x
What is the Holiday Salad Marathon?
This is my inaugural Christmas recipe countdown where I am sharing 30 salad recipes in a row until Christmas Eve – something completely different to people’s usual baking countdowns!
These salads are in addition to my regular 3 new recipes a week. Because aren’t you bored of the usual tomato-cucumber-lettuce garden salad routine??
Click here to see all the Holiday Salad Marathon recipes to date, or sign up for instant updates and you’ll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new salad! 🙂
Spring Salad with Goats Cheese
- 3 bunches (24 spears) asparagus , woody ends snapped off (Note 1)
- 120g / 4oz snow peas (about 16 large or 20 smaller ones), trimmed and string removed
- 1 head baby gem or cos lettuce (aka romaine) washed (16 leaves, Note 2)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peas (Note 3)
- 90g / 3oz goats cheese
- 1 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves, , roughly torn
- 1 tsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 2 tbsp (30ml) lemon juice
- 6 tbsp (90ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
Add snow peas to pot, boil for 1 1/2 minutes.
Add the asparagus spears, boil for another 1 1/2 minutes.
Add frozen peas, and boil for another 30 seconds or until the water just returns to a simmer, and peas turn bright green.
Immediately drain, refresh vegetables under cold running water until cooled to stop cooking process.
Remove the asparagus and snow peas, blot with paper towels to dry. Leave peas in colander to drain, giving them a toss now and then to help them dry. (It's important to dry vegetables, otherwise it dilutes the dressing and it won't stick. You could use a salad spinner with care, o just let them naturally dry which is easier.)
Split the larger baby cos leaves down the middle, use the small ones whole.
Cut asparagus stems in half on a slight angle.
Shake Dressing ingredients in a jar.
Combine vegetables in a bowl, dress and toss.
Arrange salad on a platter (Note 5). Top with small chunks of goats cheese. Serve immediately!
2. Lettuce – Any crisp lettuce will really do here. Baby lettuce looks nice, the way the asparagus and snow peas nestle in them. But you could easily just chop normal size cos lettuce (romaine), even iceberg or other crisp lettuce types.
But really, any leafy greens will work a treat with these vegetables and the lemon dressing. Shredded cabbage, baby spinach, rocket/arugula, mixed greens, kale (shred and marinate it using this recipe).
3. Peas – You could be a real stickler and use fresh peas here. I used frozen – I totally buy into the whole snap-frozen = better quality than old “fresh” peas thing.
4. Goats cheese – feel free to sub with other cheese like feta (preferably Danish), fresh mozzarella (tear by hand), bocconcini, or even blue cheese if that’s your thing. (Certainly is mine!)
5. For arrangement, hold back half the peas. Arrange and and then scatter over the remaining peas. Otherwise they all fall to the bottom as you arrange! You want your salad pretty and showing all the vegetables!
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 6.
Life of Dozer
No interest in this recipe as I was photographing it! Now if it were a hunk of beef, he’d be heavy breathing all over it……