This quick and healthy salad recipe is full of texture and balanced flavor. The buttery flavor and wonderful crunch of asparagus, the subtle bitterness and suppleness of spinach, the minty and aromatic flavor or fennel, and juicy sweet tomatoes combined with a citrus dressing make a simple but memorable salad perfect for the summer. You can serve this healthy meal as appetizer recipes or as a side dish to fish or chicken. It is also excellent with grilled seafood dishes.
For a light and nutritious healthy dinner meal, you can add pieces of grilled fish to the mix and toss well. For additional crunch and texture, blend in pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, or almonds. If you want a bit of sweetness, consider adding fresh or dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, pears, apples, orange wedges, mangoes, or grapes all of which go well with the asparagus, spinach, fennel, and tomatoes. For a more Mediterranean flavor, you can add olives and capers.
Ingredients: 8 oz. Baby Spinach, 1 large ripe Tomato, cut into 8 equal pieces, 1 Fennel Bulb, trimmed and sliced, 1 large Orange, juiced, 1 tablespoon Harris Teeter Red Wine Vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt, 1/4 freshly ground Black Pepper, 2 tablespoons H.T. Traders Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Place asparagus in a pot of boiling water over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until asparagus is tender. Drain, and place in a bowl of ice-cold water for 5 minutes, and drain again. Place spinach in a large serving bowl or platter. Combine asparagus, spinach, tomato, and fennel in a medium bowl. Whisk together orange juice and red wine vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in salt and pepper and olive oil until combined. Pour dressing over asparagus mixture and spoon over spinach. Toss gently to combine.
The asparagus need to be cooked before added to the other ingredients. You don’t need to cook the spinach since it can be eaten raw and is delicious as long as you use baby spinach, which have tender leaves and a mild flavor. The asparagus should be cooked al dente and should still be crunchy to the bite with a bright green color. If you are using larger asparagus, you can trim off the hard and stringy edges by snapping it off or slicing it with a knife. The asparagus will cook in about five to eight minutes, but check to make sure they do not overcook. Soggy asparagus is not pleasant to eat. Make sure to dunk the asparagus in ice cold water right after cooking to keep their crunchy texture and beautiful color. Drain them well before adding in with the other ingredients.