Recipe & images: AMBER BREMNER

We are fortunate to have a number of asparagus growers in the Waikato, making it easy to find locally grown, perfectly fresh asparagus at an affordable price. Choose asparagus with firm stems and tight tips. Store it in the fridge with the cut ends wrapped in a wet tea towel or standing up in a jar with 1–2 cm of water.

Raw asparagus has a distinctive grassy flavour and tastes a little like green peas. It’s rather lovely, and a nice alternative way to enjoy this healthy vegetable. Make sure you use the freshest asparagus you can find. This golden turmeric dressing is one of my favourites. Its creamy, tangy and slightly earthy flavour goes well with most vegetables and works very well with this crisp spring vegetable salad.

Salad
baby cos lettuce leaves (2 heads, or 1 pre-packaged bag)
2 courgettes
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
250g asparagus (1 bunch)
3–4 radishes

Dressing
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely grated
1 tsp maple syrup or sweetener of your choice
½ tsp ground turmeric
salt and pepper to taste

Put salad dressing ingredients into a small jar or sealed container and shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if required. If the dressing is too thick, add a little more lemon juice or a splash of water.

Separate baby cos lettuce leaves and arrange on a serving platter or salad bowl. Use a vegetable peeler to slice courgettes into ribbons. Toss the courgette ribbons with olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and set aside to soften slightly while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Snap tough ends off the asparagus, then slice thinly on the diagonal. Trim radishes and slice very thinly. Just before serving, add sliced asparagus and about half of the sliced radishes to the bowl with the courgette ribbons and toss to combine. Arrange the vegetables on top of the cos lettuce and use the remaining sliced radishes to garnish.

Serve with golden turmeric dressing. Best eaten fresh.

Amber Bremner
Quite Good Food
www.quitegoodfood.co.nz
Amber Bremner is the author of popular plant based food blog Quite Good Food. A champion for cooking and eating food that makes you feel good, she believes small changes in the way we approach food have the power to make a difference.

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