Spring is in the air!
I love celebrating each change in season by eating the new vegetables popping up in my local ecosystem.
Depending on where you are in the world, you might either be experiencing the first glimpses of spring, or it might be in full bloom! If you find yourself in an ‘in-between’ season, pairing light greens and asparagus with heartier sweet potato provides a good balance of both qualities during the transitional season.
This recipe is great for an earlier, lighter dinner, or as a side to a more hearty lunch. If you want to bulk it up for a more substantial meal, you could add chickpeas, tempeh, or some high-quality animal protein.
Spring Greens Salad
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 tbsp ghee (or butter), melted and cooled
- 1½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp fresh black pepper
- A few handfuls of baby salad greens
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ small cabbage head, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF
- Melt butter and set aside to cool
- Thinly slice sweet potatoes into medallions.
- Mince garlic. Stir garlic, ½ tsp sea salt, and ½ tsp black pepper into melted butter.
- Toss sweet potato medallions in half of the butter mixture, evenly coating the slices. Spread sweet potatoes into an even, single layer on cooking sheets.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping about halfway through, until lightly browned and crispy on the edges.
- While sweet potatoes are baking, toss whole asparagus in the other half of the butter mixture, evenly coating. Spread asparagus into an even, single layer on cooking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes in the same oven as the sweet potatoes until fork tender.
- While both sweet potatoes and asparagus are baking, use a blender or food processor to blend the cilantro, oregano, dried basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss together the baby salad greens, bell pepper, cabbage, cucumber, celery, and peas. If using fresh peas, chop. If using frozen, just let them thaw and add them to the salad raw.
- Add as much of the dressing as you and toss again. If you have leftover dressing, you can keep the dressing covered in the fridge for 3 days.
Once the sweet potatoes and asparagus are ready, serve alongside (or even mixed into!) salad, adding salt and pepper to taste.
COOKING AND MEAL PREP TIPS:
- Make a large batch of this salad for up to 3 days of meals. Just keep the dressing separate and drizzle on top when you eat it.
- You can also make other roasted vegetables in bulk for the week, getting creative with the types of veggies you roast and the spice blends you use. Some of my other favorite spring vegetables to roast are cauliflower, brussels sprouts, artichoke hearts, shallots, beets, broccoli, and leeks. Spring is a great time for using brighter and more pungent herbs and spices like basil, parsley, dill, ginger, turmeric, lemon, and black pepper.
- Add whatever kinds of raw vegetables you like to a salad like this. Some of my other spring favorites to throw into a salad include greens (especially tender young greens, which you can find for lettuce, spinach, arugula, chicory, or sprouts), radishes, scallions, and fennel.
- Add more or less of any ingredient in the dressing. I sometimes deconstruct my dressings and add each ingredient to a salad separately, tasting the salad after adding each ingredient to see what other flavors are needed.
- To make this meal heartier, you could add some healthy spring fats/protein like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sliced hard-boiled eggs, chickpeas, tempeh, quinoa, or some high-quality chicken.
Enjoy, and happy spring!