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Strawberry Asparagus Spring Salad

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Strawberry Asparagus Spring Salad

I decided to venture out to the Lancaster Central Farmer’s Market last week on a breathtaking spring day. The day really couldn’t have been more perfect. It was about 70 degrees, not a cloud in the bright blue sky and the sun kissing my skin – my kinda day!

On my drive to the farmer’s market, I was captivated by the magnificent views of the beautiful farm land of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I love living so close to Lancaster County because there’s rolling hills of farmland as far as the eye can see. The best part is that many of these farms believe in all natural, organic farming practices. There’s cows happily grazing on grass, chickens running around the fields, and raw milk and fresh brown egg homemade signs staked in the yards on every street. It really is a picture perfect site and I consider myself very blessed to live so close to this area and to all these wonderful farms that provide me with such rich sources of nutrition.

As I was strolling around the farmer’s market, I spotted a bright, cheerful salad. The little sign said it was the special of the day and made with fresh local produce. Colorful food always gets my attention and this salad was definitely an eye catcher. The crisp green asparagus, bright red strawberries and sunny bits of yellow lemon zest drew me in and I knew I just had to have a taste. And I was so glad I decided to purchase this salad because it tasted as refreshing as it looked! There were even candied walnuts in the salad – yum 🙂  

The salad reminded me of a gorgeous spring day – light and refreshing. I knew I wanted to recreate it when I got home so I left the farmer’s market with plenty of fresh asparagus and strawberries in hand. I think this would be a perfect salad to make for a Mother’s Day brunch and spring bridal and baby showers!

Strawberry Asparagus Spring Salad

Serves 6+

Ingredients:

1 bunch of fresh asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 2 cups)

1 pint of strawberries (about 2 cups), sliced

For the candied walnuts:

½ cup walnuts

2 tsp butter (vegans can substitute coconut oil)

1 T honey (vegans can substitute maple syrup or sweetener of choice)

pinch of sea salt

For the dressing:

3 T balsamic vinegar

2 T olive oil

1 lemon, zested and juiced

salt and pepper, to taste

1 T honey (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Snap the tough ends off the asparagus. I do this by gently bending the asparagus and they will naturally snap off where they are supposed to. After the tough ends are off, slice the asparagus on an angle into 1 inch pieces. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the asparagus for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Combine the asparagus with the sliced strawberries in a large bowl. Add the dressing to the bowl. Next stir in your candied walnuts. Add some fresh pepper and sea salt to the top. I like to add some additional fresh lemon zest/spirals to the top of the salad, too. Enjoy!

 

For the candied walnuts:

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and the honey. Add in the walnuts and stir until the walnuts are sticky and well coated. Add a dash of sea salt to them. Set aside to cool.

 

For the dressing:

Combine the vinegar, oil, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper and stir until well mixed.

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