(broccoli and asparagus salad meets my paint palette.)

While traveling in Asia, the food group I miss the most is salad --Adhering to the wise travel adage of not eating too many raw vegetables and fruits can be trying and also quite sad. In India, they don't offer much in the way of raw veggies anyway, so that's not much of a temptation and I can't resist eating all the tropical fruits that come my way (knock wood our tummies stay happy)! But I definitely miss the giant bowl of at least 6 ingredients (kale, shredded carrots, avocado, almonds, beans and broccoli are in heavy rotation) that usually end up at one of our mealtimes -- D and I affectionately call this our "big salad" and we eat our insanely big and colorful salad out of huge wooden bowls. They soak up the dressing and are the perfect vehicle for shoving the concoction in the mouth while watching a movie or reading a magazine.

I have been pretty quick to put the Cesar Salad and our "big salad" I've often craved out of my mind --- best not to dwell on the wonders of Pacific Northwest produce (ah lettuce!) and swell eating vessels . . . Until I saw broccoli and asparagus hiding at a vendor's stall in the corner of the market and decided to change my tune. Greenery was upon us! I thought -- okay, it's not lettuce, but with some blanching and some raw onion, we are in business! I quickly assembled this delicious, healthy and restorative salad -- and with the addition of juicy Indian raisins and walnuts, it really echoed the fall/winter flavors of home. It was all quite good actually, and very easy! I would highly recommend this dish to spruce up a winter meal, either as a side dish or on it's own with bread, cheese and a goblet of wine.

Also, this dish was delicious the next day when I added cooked pasta and a little glug of olive oil--melding into a winter/spring pasta salad. Either way, we were so happy to have some crispy veggies and fresh garlic flavor -- the perfect fuel for our latest projects . . .

Restoration Salad

1 bunch (about 1 lb) of asparagus, cut in half
2 broccoli crowns, cut into 1 - 2 inch pieces
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin rings (deli-sandwich style)
1/3 c raisins
1/2 c walnuts, chopped up a little
1 bunch basil, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced
generous salt and pepper
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar (red wine or white wine vinegar would also be nice)
5 tbsp olive oil
1 heaping tbsp mayonnaise (or vegannaise is perfect here as well)

First prepare the salad dressing, whisking all ingredients in a medium bowl until a smooth, light yellow emulsion is created. Set aside.

Blanche asparagus and broccoli for 1 minute, on a rolling boil, then shock vegetables into a bath of ice water. Toss everything in a bowl, including the dressing -- serve with a crusty bread and some fried tofu for a perfect lunch.


  1. wow this salad looks amazing. i can almost taste the flavors in my mouth...yum!