Asian Spinach Salad with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini

by Chrissy

Asian Spinach Salad w Roasted Asparagus_LYK3

Let me just say this: toasted sesame oil is the business. The bees knees, if you will.

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It’s fragrant, toasty and has such a warm and inviting personality.

In dressings and sauces, it is such a delight. Yes, it can be a little high on the calorie scale, but a little goes a long way, so as long as you mix it with other oils, vinegars, and flavors, it evens out.

Asian Spinach Salad w Roasted Asparagus_LYK1

This roasted garlic & sesame vinaigrette is fairly light and very flavorful, paired with a simple spinach salad with roasted asparagus and zucchini. Perfection. It’s also a good salad to make ahead of time, just leave the dressing off until the salad is ready to be served.

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I scarfed this salad alongside some tasty Asian pulled pork sliders (don’t worry I’ll be posting this one soon), and it was such a marvelous accompaniment.

Asian Spinach Salad w Roasted Asparagus_LYK5

I’ve been all about spinach salads these days, because it is such an easy salad to prepare, and the greens don’t get wilty if you are making this a couple days in advance for lunches throughout the week. And I’ll take spinach over romaine any day; more nutrients, more flavor and holds up to the other ingredients in the mix.

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Asian Spinach Salad with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini 

Print Recipe!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 – 2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced diagonally

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon plus pinch of salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cups baby kale or romaine

3 cups baby spinach

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

 

For the Vinaigrette:

1/2 head garlic (or a small whole head)

4 Tablespoons olive oil or canola oil, divided

1 Tablespoon lime juice

2 Tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Salt, to taste (you won’t need much)

 

Directions:

To prepare dressing: Preheat oven to 400°F.

Remove excess papery skin off garlic head without separating cloves. Slice the tip off, exposing the ends of the cloves. Place the garlic head on a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and wrap into a package, keeping upright. Place in oven, (on the rack is fine) and bake until the garlic is very soft, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss asparagus with 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender and browned, 10 to 15 minutes.

Toss asparagus and zucchini with 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread in a single layer. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender and browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Squeeze the garlic pulp into a blender, and discard the skins. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce; blend or process until smooth. Season with pepper, and salt, if needed.

Toast sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium high heat, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly browned.

Sprinkle the salad with asparagus, zucchini, toasted sesame seeds and 1/3 cup of the dressing (reserving the rest for another day in an airtight container, for up to 1 week); toss and serve.

 

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Chrissy

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