Spring is the season we have all been waiting for. Emerging from winter, our bodies and minds are ready for nourishment and new growth, fresh flavours and foods that support cleansing and restoration.
This snappy grain and green salad is a perfect way to enjoy the refreshing ingredients of spring. Seasonal produce combined with a zingy lemon mint sauce is a simple, easy to make and delicious salad. I’ve adapted this recipe from Sarah Britton’s new book Naturally Nourished; I made a more savoury dressing, steamed the asparagus, added radish & barley, and threw in lots of sprouts.
· ½ cup Barley, soaked if possible
· ½ cup Quinoa, soaked if possible
· 2 cups of water or broth
· ½ tsp Salt
· 1 bunch of Asparagus
· 1 cup of Peas, fresh or frozen
· 1 bunch or Radish
· 1 cup of Sprouts, I like sunflower
· Zest and juice of 1 big lemon, 2 small
· 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
· 1 Tsp of maple syrup + more to taste
· ¼ cup Evoo
· ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, keep ¼ cup to finish the salad
· Good pinch of salt
Start by cooking the grains, rinse well and in saucepan combine barley, salt and liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add in quinoa at this time; simmer the grains for another 15-20 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary. I like the use of a chunky grain like barley in a salad, a bit easier to eat and I love the texture, if you are gluten-free, all quinoa is all good.
Prepare the vegetables: wash and steam the asparagus till bright green and slightly tender, about 4 minute. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add peas, till bright green, about 3 minutes, quickly rinse both peas and asparagus under cold water to halt cooking.
For the dressing, begin by toasting the seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Using a food processor or emersion blender, puree lemon zest, juice, mint and maple syrup, and then slowly add the oil, continuing to blend. Add a tiny splash of water if needed and season with salt.
Finish the salad by slicing the radishes thinly, on the bias. In a large bowl combine the grains with asparagus, chopped into chunks, peas, radishes, sprouts and toasted pumpkin seeds. Pour in about half the dressing and season with a sprinkle of salt and toss.
Enjoy in a big bowl, this serves 4 people for a light meal, or 6 sides.
Remember to support your body during this time of natural cleansing. It is still a bit chilly out, so I suggest not to over do the raw foods, an impulse we may all have post winter. Instead slowly start adding these ingredients to your daily routine and remember to stay hydrated with lots of warm lemon water to assist the liver.
Enjoy & Happy Spring!