Pea, Asparagus & Arugula salad


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Fresh Pea, Asparagus & Arugula Salad with Grilled Salmon or Chicken and Shaved Parmesan Serves 2

This salad epitomizes spring when young peas and asparagus are at their peak. Arugula, with it’s peppery, slightly bitter taste, provides a nice complexity to the salad. When you add a piece of grilled salmon or chicken breast, you have a beautiful and delicious lunch or dinner salad.

This recipe calls for blanching the asparagus, but you could also grill it, which gives it a sweet flavor. Click here for more information about working with asparagus.

If you have a special bottle of balsamic vinegar, using a little drizzle on this salad is the perfect application.

This salad pairs beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc. Click here to see some of my favorites.

10 medium asparagus spears, trimmed

1 cup shelled fresh young peas or fresh edamame

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups young arugula, coarse stems discarded

1/4-lb piece Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar – use best quality

2 each 6 ounce salmon filets or 2 chicken breasts

olive oil

salt and pepper

Juice of one lemon

1. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. Lightly coat the salmon or chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice. Grill the salmon or chicken, about 4-6 minutes per side. Let cool.

2. Peel the lower half of the asparagus. Cut asparagus stalks on a long diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices, leaving 1-inch-long tips. If you are going to grill the salmon, grill it whole and slice it after grilling.

3. Blanch asparagus in a medium pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes, then immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking.

4. Return water to a boil and peas 1 minute, then immediately transfer with slotted spoon to ice water to stop cooking. Drain asparagus and peas.

5. Toss arugula with one tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste then divide among 2 plates. Toss peas and asparagus in a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil and salt and pepper to taste, mound on top of arugula.

6. Arrange the salmon or chicken on top of the salad. Shave thin slices of cheese over the salad with a vegetable peeler, then drizzle with your best quality balsamic vinegar.

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