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A Paleo and gluten-free fresh asparagus salad with smoked salmon, zucchini ribbons, and radishes on crisp greens with a to-die-for sesame miso dressing.
As soon as the calendar tells me it’s officially Spring, I’m on the hunt for three things: rhubarb (not yet), nettles (soon), and fresh asparagus spears (yay!). I made this asparagus salad to go with a simple meal of Honey Lime Garlic Wings and we ate it on the deck in the SUNSHINE!
I combined red lettuce leaves, just because I liked the contrast in colour I knew they’d provide, raw zucchini ribbons, sliced radishes (yay Spring!), lightly blanched tender asparagus and small chunks of hot-smoked sockeye salmon. But wait: the best part of this asparagus salad was the vinaigrette!
This Sesame Miso Vinaigrette was one I had never made before, but it’s definitely going to become a regular in my kitchen. I can imagine just how good it would be not just on salads, but drizzled on a sweet potato (because I already tried it!) on zucchini or rice noodles, or even brushed on grilled mushrooms. It seemed the perfect choice for this Asian-inspired asparagus salad today.
Asparagus Salad with Smoked Salmon and Sesame Miso Vinaigrette in 3 Easy Steps
1. Make the vinaigrette.
Whisk together the ingredients and let stand while you prepare the salad so the flavours have a chance to blend. This dressing is even better the second day.
2. Blanch the asparagus.
Trim the asparagus spears by snapping off the stem ends where they naturally bend. Save the ends in a container in your refrigerator or freezer for making this Dairy-Free Creamy Asparagus Soup. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Add the asparagus spears to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, or just until they become bright green. Immediately remove with tongs and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. When completely cold, remove and pat dry.
3. Assemble the salad.
Start with a bed of greens. I used red lettuce leaves and some fresh arugula. Add zucchini ribbons (just make long strips with a vegetable peeler), sliced radishes, and asparagus. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Scatter small chunks of smoked salmon over all. Drizzle with Sesame Miso Vinaigrette just before serving.
- 12 asparagus spears
- 4 large red lettuce leaves, washed and dried
- handful of arugula leaves
- 1/2 medium zucchini, sliced into ribbons
- 6 radishes, sliced thinly
- 12 3/4 inch chunks of hot-smoked salmon
- sea salt
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp white miso
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, or regular sesame oil
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently to prevent burning. When they begin to darken and become fragrant, remove from heat and transfer to a small plate to cool.
- In a small jar, whisk the miso, sesame oil, vinegar, olive oil, honey, seeds and sea salt. With the lid on, shake to emulsify the vinaigrette. Set aside while you prepare the salad.
- Blanch the asparagus: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Add the asparagus spears to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, or just until they become bright green. Immediately remove with tongs and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. When completely cold, remove and pat dry.
- Assemble the salad. Begin with a bed of greens, then add zucchini ribbons, radishes, asparagus and smoked salmon. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
- Drizzle with Sesame Miso Vinaigrette just before serving.
This Sesame Miso Vinaigrette recipe was adapted from epicurious.com