Now that Summer and Christmas are just around the corner, I thought that I would share the salad I made today when our friends came for a late dinner.
This salad was very much made up on the spot with what I had in the fridge, but turned out to be the quintessential Spring/Summer Salad and makes use of two of my favourite ingredients, which pair together very well, mango and asparagus. Both mango and asparagus have very short seasons, which makes me very sad, but it has meant that we have been eating a lot of them lately to make the most of them while they are in season.
I’ve posted about how to throw together a delicious salad before, but my key tips are:
- Start with a leaf – it could be lettuce, rocket, spinach or other.
- Add some veggies – this could be a roast vegetable or a blanched vegetable. In this case I have roasted some pumpkin and blanched some asparagus.
- Add some typical salad veggies – I have used cherry tomatoes.
- Add some fruit or something for a pop of sweetness – this is where the mango shines.
- Add some crunch – nuts or seeds work really well.
- Add some cheese and or dressing to bring it all together.
The key to a good salad is a balance of flavours, sweet, salty, sour and bitter.
Using this above framework allowed me to throw this salad together at the last minute and from the recipe below you can see how it all came together.
I hope this provides a delicious salad for your next gathering or family meal, or at least some inspiration for throwing together your own salad with what you have in the fridge.
- 300g pumpkin, peeled and diced into 1-2cm chunks
- 10 spears of asparagus, cut into thirds
- 1/2 a lettuce (I used oakleaf lettuce), torn
- 2 handfuls of rocket
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 an avocado, diced
- 1/2 a large mango, diced
- 1/3 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1/2 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a tray with baking paper.
- Place diced pumpkin into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat. Place onto prepared tray and bake for ~30 minutes or until pumpkin is golden brown. Once cooked, set aside to cool slightly.
- Place chopped asparagus into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes then refresh under cold water. Set aside.
- Prepare the dressing by placing all ingredients into a small jar or bowl and shake/stir well to combine. Set aside.
- Arrange the lettuce and rocket into the dish you are going to serve the salad in. Top with roast pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, avocado, mango and asparagus.
- Drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle the almonds. Lightly toss to allow the dressing to coat the salad and serve.