It's World Vegetarian Awareness month and so Idealog decided to team up with Foxy Fresh and turn your October Mondays into meatless ones with a vegetarian recipe a week.
Those of us in the southern hemisphere are all of a sudden in the middle of spring, and it’s wonderful! The sun has been out in Wellington and just in the last week my favourite warmer weather fruits and vegetables have appeared in supermarkets at not-outrageous prices. To celebrate I bought strawberries, asparagus, avocado and zucchini for the first time in more than six months to make this seasonal salad.
So Glad It’s Spring Salad
6 stems asparagus
2 cups strawberries
Half an avocado
1 medium zucchini
2 cups baby spinach leaves
About a third of a red capsicum/bell pepper
1 cup of cooked chickpeas or a drained & rinsed 300g tin of chickpeas
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
Quarter teaspoon of tumeric
One teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
A little cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
Prepare your vegetables. Bend the asparagus stems one by one and they’ll snap naturally at just the right place. I cut the zucchini on the diagonal and sliced the capsicum/bell pepper into long thin strips.
Put your chickpeas in a bowl and drizzle over a little olive oil. Add the cinnamon and tumeric plus a little salt and pepper. Get your hands in there and mix it all up until the chickpeas are coated evenly in the spices. Wash your hands straight after so they don’t stay tumeric-yellow! Cook the chickpeas in a hot pan for a few minutes, shaking about or stirring regularly, until they’re golden brown and cooked to your liking. Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the asparagus in there for less than a minute if, like me, you like it crisp. The green colour comes out more when it is cooked: see below, raw asparagus stem on the left and blanched on the right.
Pan fry your zucchini slices in a little olive oil until golden brown on both sides then set aside. You could use the same pan you did the chickpeas in to get some of those spices on the zucchini and save on dishes.
Chop the tops off your strawberries and slice them in half. Put one cup of the berries in a blender. Add balsamic vinegar, sea salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. Turn on your blender and puree it all up. This is your dressing. It’s pretty yum.
Assemble all the ingredients together on two plates. Add the avocado in chunks spooned out of half the avocado pear. As you can see below, I put the spinach on the bottom and sort of layered it up. Then drizzle your bright red strawberry balsamic black pepper dressing on top, and it’s ready to eat! Note to dairy-eating dames and fellas: this would be brilliant with grilled halloumi cheese in place of the chickpeas.
<3 you, spring.
Head over to Foxy Fresh for this and other delicious healthy recipes.