Summer Salad: Baby spinach with strawberries, green asparagus, goat cheese and a raspberry-maple dressing
This colorful salad truly tastes like summer! I got inspired by a similar version I had at Vapiano a few weeks ago. If I have a salad at Vapiano I always go for the ceasar salad with grilled shrimp, which is just so good! Thus it was a true experiment to swap it for another. The combination with so many of my favorite foods sounded too good not to try though – and I did not get disappointed. The raspberry-maple dressing goes perfectly with the nutty spinach, creamy goat cheese and fruity strawberries.
Spinach, next to romain lettuce and rocket, is one of my favourite sorts for salad. I often got surprised reactions that I’m having raw spinach for salad. Apparently it was not so popular in Germany in the past. Most people only had it in cooked dishes. This was probably due to my many vacations in our holiday house in spain, where spinach is very typical for salad.
Anyway, while eating the salad at Vapiano I thought about recreating it at home and one thing came to my mind: green asparagus. During asparagus season I mostly have it several times a week, I just love it to so many kinds of dishes. So I was sure that it would also make a great addition to this salad. The result was delicious!
By eating this salad you are also nourishing your body with essential nutrients. Spinach is important for skin and hair, bone health and provides protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. Green asparagus is also packed with lots of vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, calcium, protein, and fiber. With its antioxidants it further neutralizes cell-damaging free radicals and may help slow down the aging process.
Strawberries – in Asia called the “queen of fruits” because of its many health benefits – ease inflammation, help burn stored fat and promote bone health. All so good for you!
As long as strawberries and asparagus are still in season you should definitely give it a try. It makes the perfect light lunch or dinner on a hot day.
What’s your favorite summer salad?
- 3 big handfuls of baby spinach
- 6-8 strawberries
- 3 tbs pine nuts
- 4 spears of green asparagus
- goat camembert or goat cream cheese
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp honey (optional for goat cheese camembert)
- 100g frozen raspberries
- 1 tbs apple vinegar (swap for any other fruit vinegar)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Let the frozen raspberries thaw for about 2 hours.
- Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a high jar and mix with hand-held blender until smooth.
- I don’t mind the raspberry seeds, but if you prefer it without you can thieve it at this point.
- Place pine nuts in a coated pan and roast for a few minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- While the pine nuts are roasting, peel the lower third of your asparagus, cut into thumb long pieces and remove the woody root ends.
- Heat a pan with olive oil, add asparagus and let it roast for about 5 minutes on medium heat until al dente, stirring a few times in between.
- If you have goat cheese camembert, place into a baking dish in the oven and let it roast for about 5-8 minutes on 180 degrees, depending on the thickness until it starts to turn golden and soft. Top with a teaspoon of honey. If you have goat cream cheese, you just put it on to your salad as it is at the end.
- Wash spinach and strawberries, cut into halves and place into a bowl.
- Mix with raspberry-maple dressing and divide between two plates.
- Top with goat cheese, roasted asparagus, pine nuts and a dash of black pepper. Enjoy!
- If you're vegan, just leave out the goat cheese, it also tastes great without!