Spring Celebration Salad

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There is one thing you have to understand about living in the northern regions of Europe. The darkness during the winter is really, really harsh. Short, cold and grey days with a minimal amount of sunlight. And if you, like me, believe that you were meant to be born in either Italy, Hawaii or India, the darkness feels twice as draining. However on the upside, the Nordics are probably the most sun-appreciating people on this planet. Come the first rays of sunshine and a little bit of warm air and we throw off our clothes and spend hours standing like suricates, gazing at the sun. Well almost anyway.

That first day of spring happened earlier this weekend when we visited friends outside the city. We threw together two simple salads in celebration of all the early produce and enjoyed them as a lunch around a table in the garden, with sunshades on! Afterwards we strolled over to the neighbour farm to pet the newly born lambs and calves (Isac was first terrified and then almost impossible to get out of there). It felt like the perfect day and well-worth getting through all those dark months for. Even for an Italian/Hawaiian/Indian guy like myself.

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This salad is a version of the one our friends made that day. We have shared a couple of spring salads on this blog throughout the years (asparagus & buckwheat saladrhubarb & puy lentil saladegg salad – green bean salad), but what makes this one stand out is the very simple and rich butter vinaigrette that is poured over the cooked new potatoes and steamed asparagus. So delicious. We have added some lentils (you can use ready-cooked if you want to save some time and effort) and sugar peas for extra protein but any type of green beans or string beans could also be delicious. With the lentil addition, this is great as a lunch or light dinner, but it would also be a perfect side salad for a weekend bbq.

For our vegan friends, we have also tried this with a few alternative dressings with great results. Either just replace the butter with olive oil. Or try a delicious Dijon dressing by stirring together equal parts Dijon mustard and maple syrup (or honey if you prefer) with a bit of lemon juice and a good glug olive oil.

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Asparagus & Potato Salad with Butter Vinaigrette
Serves 4

The butter dressing makes this salad ideal served straight away, when the vegetables are still slightly warm.

1 1/2 lb / 800 g new potatoes
2 bunches (1 lb / 500 g) asparagus
1 cup / 100 g sugar peas
1 cup / 175 g cooked whole lentils, rinsed (we used green/brown but any color is fine)
1 small handful chives
5 radishes, very thinly sliced

Butter vinaigrette
2 oz / 60 g organic butter or ghee (use olive oil for a vegan option and skip the heating part)
2 tbsp organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 spring onion, very finely chopped
salt & black pepper

Rinse and scrub the potatoes and place them whole in a large saucepan, cover with water and add sea salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Rinse and trim the asparagus by snapping off the dry ends. Place the asparagus in a steaming basket (or use a sieve with a lid) and cover. Remove the lid from the saucepan with the boiling potatoes and place the basket on top, the steam from the boiling potato water is used to steam the asparagus. Steam until the asparagus are tender, 5-10 minutes depending on their thickness.

Finely slice the sugar peas and radishes and rinse the cooked lentils. Melt the butter on low heat for the vinaigrette. Finely chop the spring onion and add to the melted butter and stir in apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Place all salad ingredients in a bowl. Right before serving, add the butter vinaigrette and use your hands to toss until everything is coated in the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

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32 Comments

  • Joanna
    I really like the name and the salad and everything about Green Kitchen Stories! Greetings from Poland:)
  • This was absolutely delicious!! Definitely firmly in my repertoire now x https://pumdiets.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/pums-favourite-recipes-amazing-asparagus-lentil-and-new-potato-salad/
  • Everyone seems to be passionate about cooking these days. Why not earn while you’re cooking. It’s so damn easy. You might just want to check out the list of cooking receipe at http://foodaholic.co/
  • Claire
    This is the first time I've commented despite reading your blog for years. I've just made your salad and it really is Spring in a bowl. Thank you! I tweaked - added purple sprouting broccoli which just shouts "Spring" here in the UK, chucked a few leaves at it and shaved Parmesan on top - but it's a winner. I would never have come up with using butter in a dressing and its soooo good. We'll be making this again and again. Awesome!
  • I tried this salad yesterday and I am terrified with the result! It was so tasty even my wife didn't believe that I made that salad. Thanks for sharing! The preparation process is very easy!
  • Margarita
    Trying this salad out now...very excited! I had a question about your website. I cannot seem to be able to access your recipe for banana bread (I get a 'not found' message). Help, please :) Thank you again for sharing!
  • Alisa
    Dear David & Luisa, first I want to thank you guys for sharing your wonderful recipes and secondly I would like to ask you for some advice. I'm a student and relatively new to the world of cookery but I absolutely love your blog and recipes! (The ones I tried all turned out perfectly!) Now I'm stacking up on kitchen supplies, so could you give me some advice or recommend a good blender, food processor, pans and pots? (My nan asked me what I want for my birthday ;)) thanks and best from Berlin! Axxx
  • KathleenH
    Hey! Just wanted to leave a quick note, that (even though I know you meant it in a harmless, joking kind of way) for a white person to say something like "as an Indian guy" (even as a joke) is actually a bit problematic. I'm sure you understand why, but just in case anyone is reading this comment and doesn't think there's anything wrong with the original statement in the article, here's why I think so: White people experience a huge amount of privilege because of their whiteness, and often (even if they don't realize it or mean to) participate in the oppression of people of colour. Meanwhile, people of colour still have to live with the legacy of centuries of racialized oppression and often (especially in the case of India) with the colonial legacy of the imperialist ventures of white Europeans. This is what makes it hurtful when a white person (who benefits from the ongoing systematic racial oppression of people of colour) co-opts the identity of a person of colour (who is oppressed under this same system) even when its only meant as a metaphor or joke. Little comments can seem very innocuous and harmless, but language is powerful and can make a big impact in how welcoming a space (in this case an online space) feels to oppressed groups. Something to think about!
  • This looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing. Also, we truly like your pictures. Continue the great work! Best, MODENOVA
  • Lena
    I just made your salad yesterday evening after finding the recipe, as it looked so good! Even though all the supermarkets let me down and I couldn't find neither asparagus nor radishes, I wanted to try this vinaigrette, so I changed asparagus for broccoli and added spring onions to the vegetable mix for freshness. The vinaigrette came out really sour, maybe the apple cider vinegar I used is different to the one you bought? I added a bit of honey to balance it and then it was great. I could imagine this dressing for any salad or vegetable, it's really buttery and delicious!

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