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.
After the heavier comfort foods of winter, it feels great to eat lighter fresh foods. This smoked salmon asparagus salad is just that: light and fresh! Baby asparagus spears and spring radishes on a bed of greens and zucchini ribbons make an impressive salad to welcome warmer days.
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, lightly blanched tender asparagus and small chunks of hot-smoked sockeye salmon. But wait: the best part of this smoked salmon asparagus salad was not the smoked salmon. It was the vinaigrette!
This Sesame Miso Vinaigrette has become a regular in my kitchen. It's good not only on salads, but drizzled on sweet potatoes, on zucchini or rice noodles, or even brushed on grilled mushrooms. It seemed the perfect choice for this Asian-inspired asparagus salad today.
Make this Smoked Salmon Asparagus Salad in 3 Easy Steps
1. Whisk the vinaigrette.
Whisk together the ingredients and let stand while you prepare the salad so the flavours have time 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. Blanch. *(see below).
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.
How to blanch asparagus
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Fill another 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.
Asparagus Salad with Smoked Salmon and Sesame Miso Vinaigrette
- 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
- 2/3 cup chunks of hot-smoked salmon
- sea salt
Sesame Miso Vinaigrette
- 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