This Lean Green Spring Salad is an easy, healthy gluten free recipe to celebrate the flavors of Spring. Great for Easter or just a weeknight dinner, it uses asparagus, peas, and pistachios for crunch. A simple dressing recipe is also included!
The color green is synonymous with Spring for me. Green grass, green leaves, green for St. Patty’s Day. Just green all around. So this Lean Green Spring Salad fits right in.
This salad came out of dinner smorgasbord. Every other week or so my husband and I invite my parents over for dinner. Partly to entertain our kids, but also because we enjoy their company. The week this salad was born we happened to have a bunch of leftovers that needed to get eaten, and my mom said to accompany it all she’d bring a salad.
She came over and started assembling a version of this salad, and when I tried it I knew she was on to something. It was light and crunchy, with a zing from the lemon vinaigrette. So after she left I did a little research and made just some minor tweaks. I based my version of the dressing off this one from Epicurious, changing things up just a bit. And bam, out came this version of the salad. I almost added “Mean” into the name, but I thought Lean Green Spring Salad was enough rhyming.
This salad is a great accompaniment to heavier fare, or you could added a grilled chicken breast on top and enjoy it on its own. Either way, you’re getting your greens in.
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Recipe for Lean Green Spring Salad
Lean Green Spring Salad
The color green is synonymous with Spring for me. Green grass, green leaves, green for St. Patty's Day. Just green all around. So this Lean Green Spring Salad fits right in. It is light and crunchy, with a zing from the lemon vinaigrette
- zest of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey warmed until in liquid form
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/2 cup shelled roasted and salted pistachios
- 10 asparagus stalks
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 8 leaves green leaf lettuce about half a large head
- One small- or medium-sized bowl
- One whisk
- A large knife
- A cutting board
- One large pot, with lid
- One steamer basket (that fits inside the large pot)
- One small pot, with lid
- A towel
- A large bowl
- A pair of tongs, or other large utensil
Pour all of the dressing ingredients into a small- or medium-sized bowl and beat swiftly with a whisk until well combined. Alternatively, you could pour all the ingredients into a small mason jar, seal it, and shake to combine. Once done, set aside.
Wash the asparagus, then using a large knife and cutting board, cut off roughly 1 inch of the thicker, woody end of the asparagus. Then cut the asparagus into roughly 1 inch pieces.
In a large pot, pour in about an inch of water and place a steamer basket into the pot but above the water. Place the pot over medium heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Put the asparagus in the basket and cover, cooking for 5 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and slightly tender.
While asparagus is cooking, cook the frozen peas according to package directions, typically pouring a small amount of water into a small pot and cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, covered, over medium heat. Drain and set aside when peas are done cooking.
Once asparagus is cooked, remove it (in the steamer basket) and run it under cold water for 10 to 15 seconds to keep it from over cooking.
Wash the lettuce leaves, dry them off with a towel, then tear them up into small pieces. Place in a large bowl.
Put the pistachios, peas, and asparagus in with the lettuce.
Whisk the dressing again if it separated, then pour half the dressing over the lettuce mixture. Toss with a pair of tongs (or other utensils) to combine. If you like more dressing on your salad, pour remaining dressing over the lettuce mixture and toss to combine again.