EAT IN SEASON
In-season produce is fresher, tastes better, sweeter and perfectly ripe. When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption that has been naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time, they have much more flavour and nutrition.
This Warm New Potato and Asparagus Salad recipe from The Vegetarian Society is full of seasonal local produce.
New potatoes and asparagus are at the peak of their season now and they blend beautifully with goat’s cheese and a tangy mustard dressing to make a nourishing and satisfying light meal.
Be sure not to overcook the asparagus in order to retain its high levels of vitamin K, folate, selenium, copper and vitamins B1 and B2.
Preparation time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
• 700g baby new potatoes (cut in half if more than 4 cms)
For the dressing:
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 2 good tsp runny honey* (or 2 scant tsp apple concentrate)
• 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
• 25g walnuts, roughly chopped
16-24 asparagus spears (at least 6 spears per person if thin or 4 spears if asparagus is thicker)
• 80g young spinach leaves
• 100g soft vegetarian goat’s cheese log, thinly sliced (or 75g vegan soft cheese)
• 6 large radishes, sliced
• Season to taste
• Pre-heat oven to Gas 6/200F/400F. Parboil the potatoes for 15 minutes until slightly tender. Drain and cool for 5 minutes before placing in a roasting pan.
• Mix the dressing ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper if desired, and pour half over the potatoes, mixing well. Roast for approx 25 minutes until soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. Sprinkle the walnuts on a separate baking tray and dry roast for 3 – 4 minutes to intensify their flavour. Do not let them burn!
• Trim the woody ends off the asparagus spears and discard. Steam the asparagus for 5 to 7 minutes (depending on size) until tender. Place in a dish and pour over the remaining dressing.
• To assemble the salad: cover the base of a large, wide salad bowl with spinach leaves; place the potatoes on top followed by the sliced goat’s cheese (which will melt slightly), and then by the asparagus. Finally, sprinkle with the roasted walnuts and garnish with the radish slices.