Simple asparagus-mustard salad

Last weekend we had a big party at our house in country. Lots of kids running around, playing with balloons, jumping on the trampolin. After a whole week of heavy rain in the city, thank god it was a sunny and pleasant day so we could spend it outside, taking in much vitamin D from the sun. So much food was prepared, and I repeat soo much, some healthy and some not so much. I contributed by making one of 101cookbooks recipe’s: coconut red lentil soup; a spin on one of Ottolenghi’s recipes: roasted spiced carrot, mung bean, feta salad; a pea-mint dip; and a green simple spring salad.

Spring is one of my favorite moment of the year, food wise. Since I try to buy and eat according to seasons, you get excited to give your palate a change and introducing new items as soon as they are in season. If you think about it, if you eat strawberries all year round, you wouldn’t just miss eating the super vibrant colored and flavorful strawberries you find in season, but also not be that excited about them anymore. If someone buys according to the right season, he/she will eat that vegetable/fruit for a max of 1 or two months and then wait a year. This is also an important nutritional factor, each vegetable has different benefits for the body, for example spring vegetables in general are all very detoxifying because of the winter’s diet, concentrated on poorer foods.
So when I think of Spring, the first things that pops up in my mind are snow peas, broadbeans, asparagus, sweet onions (tropea), strawberries, nouvelle potatoes…

Back to the dish, I will tell you about this incredibly simple salad I made on Saturday.
One of the things I’ve learned about raw cuisine is that you can incorporate many vegetables in their raw state by marinating them: the fibers loosens up and make the vegetable more digestible. For example if you are making beet ravioli, eating a raw slice of beet doesn’t appeal to me that much, but once you’ve marinated it with a little olive oil and salt, it makes such a big difference.

•SALAD INGREDIENTS (for 10 as a side)•
→  2 small lettuce heads, green and/or red
→  1 small handful of asparagus
→  juice of 1 lemon
→ spring onion, depending on size I’d say total of 1/2 cup chopped
→ 1 tbls dijon mustard, (or green pepper mustard even better!)
→ extra virgin olive oil
→ salt & pepper
→ 1/4 cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax)

Start by rinsing the asparagus and take off the bottom parts just by bending the asparagus and where ever it breaks that’s the right point (you’ll have a lot of bottom leftovers which you can use to make a broth if you want , or compost), chop them in thin slices and set in a bowl. Add lemon juice, mustard, a generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. mix well and make sure the asparagus is all wet and coated with lots of dressing. Leave this marinating while you prepare the rest, 1 hour best.
Toast the seeds in a pan until golden, put in a bowl and set aside.
Wash lettuce and chop or tear leaves. Chop the spring onion finely and add to salad. Chop the seeds roughly (or leave whole if you prefer) and add to salad. Finally the asparagus: you can add everything from the bowl or drain a little bit and add more of the dressing if needed.
Finished! Super tasty and spring-y!

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