I love this time of year. It truly is beautiful. The blossom on the trees doesn’t just adds wonderful dashes of colour but it some how wakes you up… reminding us all that the cold chill and frost of winter is gone and summer is on its way.
Nature is so cleaver at proving us the food we need for each season, even coordinating the colours in case we don’t get the message! The bright colours, textures, fresh tastes all help us feel rejuvenated and ready to party.
This gluten-free and grain-free salad is a lovely mixture of fresh spring colours and crunch, with asparagus, petit-pois, radishes, thyme and sprinkling of feta all dressed in my new honey balsamic reduction.
If you try nothing else I can’t recommend this dressing enough. It’s delicious and lovely over lots of different salads and veggie or cold meat combinations and only takes 4 mins to make!
We are now in the official Asparagus season in the UK, which starts at the end of April until mid june ish. I love Asparagus it’s so versatile and easy to use with so many different foods and flavours. Asparagus is also a super food, See The Good Stuff below for more info.
I can’t believe it’s May already! Where I live they celebrate May Day and the coming of summer with a massive fair. Maypole Dancing, a Brass Band, Punch and Judy, a May Queen and Morris Dancers, the whole traditional English works, it’s fantastic. Over twenty thousand people come to the village, which completely transforms for this one day a year event. It really is something else.
Beautiful Spring Salad
Gluten-free, grain-free and can be adapted to dairy free and meat free.
This salad is a lovely light meal on its own or a great side dish and would still be delicious if you omit the feta, bacon or both.
Feeds 2 as a main meal or 4 as a starter.
- Asparagus x approx. 450g, 16oz, trimmed and broken by bending to discard the woody stiff ends (ideally organic)
- 1 x teaspoon of grass feed cows of goats butter or 1 x teaspoon of coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- Bacon of your choice x 184g, 6.5oz (ideally organic)
- Petit pois frozen or fresh x 100g, 3.52 oz (ideally organic) regular garden peas would also work very well
- Radishes x 150g, 5.29 oz finely chopped in to discs (ideally organic)
- Feta cheese x 100g, 3.52 oz, crumbled in to small pieces.
- Maldon or good sea salt and pepper
- A small hand full of thyme leaves
- Put a large pan of water on a high heat and as the water rises to the boil add the trimmed asparagus for 4-5 mins, keeping the heat at the same level then drain the asparagus in cold water (this keeps them firm and retains their bright green colour) and leave to dry.
- Gently fry your bacon in the fat/oil of your choice for 4-5 until cooked throughly and then chop in to small pieces.
- I used frozen organic petit-pois which I added to boiling water for approx. 1-2 mins before draining and rinsing in cold water to retain their colour and form.
- Mix dried asparagus and frozen peas together with the bacon, feta, and radishes and season with salt and pepper.
- Dress with my Honey Balsamic Reduction and thyme leaves and enjoy!
Honey Balsamic Reduction
This dressing is a new favourite with me and I’m becoming quite addicted to it as it is so rich and delicious and great to add as a quick dressing to so many different dishes, I’ve enjoyed it with roasted veggies, lots of salads, lettuce wraps or as a dipping sauce. Hmmm..
- 6 x tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (ideally organic)
- 3 x tablespoons of honey (ideally organic)
- Add the balsamic vinegar and then honey to a small pan on a low heat and stir for approx. 4 mins until it forms a thick
Notes: This salad is best enjoyed immediately but will keep well for 1-2 hours covered in a cool room or fridge.
The Good Stuff
This super food is full of vitamins, A, C, E and K, chromium, fibre and folic acid. It’s also a great source of glutathione a detoxifying compound that helps to fight free radicals in the blood stream and is why asparagus is linked to protecting and help fight certain cancers, such as breast, bone and lung cancer. It’s also packed full of antioxidants. It’s also great for skin, heart, gut, and immune system.
Is high in vitamins B1, B2, B12, Zinc and B6 and contains phosphorus, pantothenate, magnesium, iron and is an excellent source of protein. It has been shown to naturally lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It is also an excellent source of choline which feeds brain growth and maintenance. Not all bacon is equal as some can be highly processed and full of chemical nasties, so it’s always best to buy from a butcher you trust, or ideally organic and local or all 3. I also buy nitrate free bacon.
Are rich in vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, B Vitamins. All of which help support healthy liver function, lower blood pressure and treats congestion and inflammation. Also helping to prevent against viral infections, cancer, and the elimination of toxins.
Are a good source of vitamins, K, A and E, omega 3, folic acid, fibre, protein, manganese, calcium, iron and zinc. They are also a anti-inflammatory and packed full of antioxidants and help support a healthy immune system, nervous system and bone health.
Has many healing properties due to its levels of vitamins, C, E, K, D, B complex and beta-carotene, minerals and enzymes. Rich in antioxidants it is also a natural antibiotic helping fight respiratory infections, healing wounds and ulcers and relieving symptoms of seasonal allergies.