Asparagus has been wonderful this spring, and so cheap! We’ve been eating a couple of bunches a week – roasted, in risottos, laksa, pasta, omelettes, and in this delicious salad. I’ve combined it with the strawberries that are also so plentiful at the moment, and some wonderful smoked rainbow trout from Cypress Valley Gourmet Kitchen.
This is a spring version of the style of wonderful ‘plated’ or ‘composed’ salads I’ve written about before. As I wrote in autumn, this combination of flavours is based on a classic ‘formula’ of sorts that the sweet potato rocket and feta salad with olive and walnut and fig, pear, prosciutto and gorgonzola salad also follow: some sort of salad greens, topped with a sweetish/slightly luxurious fruit or vegetable, then something salty or meaty, roasted nuts, and a crumbled cheese.
I’ve already thought about possible versions for summer and winter: for summer – mixed lettuce/cherries/smoked duck breast/toasted almonds/goats cheese or cucumber/capsicum/mango/chicken/toasted macadamias; or winter – radicchio/fennel/pear/hazelnut/pecorino, the possibilities are endless!…
Asparagus, strawberry, smoked trout and pistachio salad
- 120g baby spinach
- 50g snow pea sprouts
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 1 punnet (250g) strawberries
- 120g hot smoked rainbow trout
- 40g (1/3 c) pistachios
- 100g fresh white curd cheese (goat or cow’s milk)
Wash baby spinach and dry well in a salad spinner or similar. Spread over the base of a large platter with the sprouts. Snap the ends off the asparagus, and rinse well, it is often quite gritty. Dry the asparagus and ‘roast’ in a sandwich press in one layer until lightly browned and just tender. If you don’t have a press, lay on a baking tray and grill.
Wash, trim and halve the strawberries, and lay over the leaves with the asparagus. Chop pistachios roughly. Tear the trout into pieces and scatter over the top, followed by the pistachios and small ‘dollops’ of cheese. Drizzle with the dressing just before serving and toss very gently with your fingers.
A delicious alternative, which is also vegetarian, is to leave out the trout and cheese, and replace with 200g sliced haloumi, browned in a frying pan with no oil over medium heat.
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs champagne or tarragon vinegar
- 1 Tbs finely chopped tarragon
- salt and pepper to taste
Whisk oil, vinegar and tarragon together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 6-8 as part of a meal
One year ago: My grandmother’s kakaós
For the other side of the world
Six months ago: Our favourite porridge, plus porridge muffins and pancakes