I’ve been craving big salads lately. Like BIG. Like just put a gigantic bowl in front of me and I’ll devour the whole thing with time to spare.
What can I say. Nice weather puts me in a salad-eating kind of mood. And also an ice cream-eating kind of mood. But that is a different post entirely…
For this spinach salad, I roasted up some strawberries and asparagus to be used as toppings. But I also collected the leftover juices from roasting the strawberries and used them as part of the salad dressing for maximum strawberry flavor delivery. What’s that saying? Go big or go home. Yeah. That is what we want to do.
The recipe below makes more dressing than you’ll likely need for this salad. But it keeps for at least a week when stored properly in the refrigerator and it’s great on a lot of other salads. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of ways to use it and it won’t go to waste.
This salad is vegan. But if you’re not, a little feta or goat cheese certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea. Just saying.
Roasted Strawberry and Asparagus Salad with Strawberry-Tahini Dressing
- For the Salad
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 lb strawberries, stemmed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Baby spinach leaves (I used about 10-12 oz)
- Handful of chopped almonds (I used raw, unsalted almonds)
- For the Strawberry-Tahini Dressing
- 4 tablespoons sesame tahini
- 4 tablespoons reserved roasting liquid/balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1-3 tablespoons water
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Get out two rimmed baking sheets or glass baking dishes. Rinse the asparagus and cut it into 1 inch pieces, discarding the very bottom woody portion. Rinse the strawberries and cut them in half (or if they are really small, you can leave them whole).
- On one of the baking sheets, toss the chopped asparagus with the olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and black pepper. Add the strawberries to the second baking sheet and toss with the balsamic vinegar. Put both baking sheets in your pre-heated oven to roast. After 10 minutes remove the strawberries and set aside to cool. The strawberries should be soft, but not mushy. Give the asparagus a stir and continue roasting it for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Carefully transfer the cooled strawberries to a colander or strainer that is sitting over a liquid measuring cup to collect the roasting juices. Also, collect and save any juices that have accumulated on your baking sheet.
- Make the strawberry-tahini dressing. Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine. If you don’t have a full 4 tablespoons of the reserved roasting liquid, you can make up the remaining volume with some plain balsamic vinegar. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin the dressing to your desired consistency.
- When you are ready to serve the salad, toss the spinach with the strawberry-tahini dressing until the leaves are nicely coated, using as much or as little dressing as you like. Divide the dressed spinach onto plates. Top with the roasted strawberries, asparagus and chopped almonds. Serve immediately.
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