Sunday may be the popular family dinner night for many Italian families but since I’m not Italian, a Saturday night is good enough for me. We invited six family members to join us for “Italian Night”. The dinner table had a Tuscan vibe, we played traditional Italian music, we had a chalkboard menu (written in Italian), and a couple nice bottles of Italian wine.
This salad is really so intreguing and pretty that everyone kept asking “what are you doing now?” and “can I have the recipe?” I thought my braciole was going to be the standout but this lovely spring salad was the true hit.
The asparagus is really the star in this. You give them a really quick roast to give the a light cook, slice them in half lengthwise, then gently toss into a hunk of honey infused goat cheese which has been moistened a bit with a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing.
Spring Salad with Asparagus, Goat Cheese, Lemon and HazelnutsPrint This
- 1 bunch of asparagus, on the thin side but thick enough to cut in half lengthwise.
- 1 cup fresh peas, or frozen and defrosted
- ½ cup of cooked and prepped Limabeans, you could use frozen defrosted lima beans
- 5 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 medium raw zucchini made into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, (no seeds)
- ½ bunch of red leaf lettuce chopped bite size and a generous handful of arugula mixed together or combination of your favorite salad greens
- 4 oz. of honey goat cheese
- the zest of one lemon, you can cut up a few slices for garnish after
- ½ cup of toasted hazelnuts
- shaved Parmigiano Reggiano for top of salad
- extra lemons for dressing
- olive oil
Roast your asparagus on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil for maybe 5 or 10 minutes on 375 just until the raw taste is gone, you don’t want limp asparagus they should still have a good bite to them, so keep checking. Cool them off and them slice them lengthwise.
Make a lemon and olive oil dressing using 2 parts fresh lemon juice to 4 parts olive oil.
In a bowl mash up your goat cheese and loosen it up with 2 tablespoons of the lemon dressing.
Gently toss and coat sliced asparagus into the mixture, adding salt and pepper to taste.
On a large platter assemble the greens, peas, fava beans, radishes, zucchini ribbons all over ending with the goat cheese coated asparagus on top.
Sprinkle the toasted nuts all around.
Spoon lemon dressing all around, as much as you think you need.
Add shavings of Parmiggiano Reggiano on top.
Garnish with a few lemon slices.