Wild Rice Asparagus Salad is a delicious Spring salad with the crunch of fresh asparagus and healthy benefits of wild rice. Dress it with Zesty Preserved Lemon Tahini Dressing.
Sometimes I Crave…Vegetables!
Sometimes I just crave vegetables. We all do because life is really all about balance. After trying 15 poutines last week at our annual Poutine Week, my balance was definitely out of whack. Why 15?! As a Poutine Pusher, my job is to visit various local restaurants and try their featured poutines. Then I try to give them some exposure by sharing them on social media. This year was a busy one and I tried poutines all 15 within 4 days. You can bet I was craving vegetables after all those poutines!
Wild Rice Asparagus Salad
There’s nothing like a seasonal salad to satisfy those veggie cravings. This Wild Rice Asparagus Salad combines the delicious chewy texture and nutty flavour of wild rice with sweet seasonal raw asparagus. The flavour of fresh lemon really shines with asparagus, but the preserved lemon really adds a unique flavour twist to the Zesty Preserved Lemon Tahini Dressing. Fresh herbs, such as Italian parsley really compliment the flavour in the salad. Best of all, it’s a quick and easy chop salad and it tastes even after an overnight in the fridge.
All About Asparagus
Asparagus is a perennial flowering plant which can grow up to 100–150 cm (39–59 in) tall. Fully mature asparagus has stout stems with much-branched, feathery foliage but it’s the younger, more tender stalks that are eaten. Asparagus is native to Europe and Western Asia but is now widely cultivated around the world. After planting, it takes 3 full seasons before the underground root system has fully developed and first harvest takes place during the fourth season.
Fresh asparagus is a short-season wonder veggie. The perennial stalks emerge out of the soil soon after the soil warms slightly. However, the harvesting season is quite short, only a matter of weeks here in Alberta. Each sweet stalk is harvested by hand with a clean cut at the base of the stalk. Asparagus season is over when the stalks grow smaller than a pencil and they must be left to ‘fern’ in order to gather enough energy to survive.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
Asparagus stalks have a high water content (93%!) and are full of natural fiber. The vegetable is low in calories and sodium but high in vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. It’s also a very good source of protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, and selenium, as well as chromium (source: wikipedia).
Ever wonder why your pee smells after eating asparagus? There are certain compounds in asparagus which become metabolized, yielding ammonia and other sulfur-containing by-products. These by-products cause urine to give off that characteristic asparagus odour which I like to call ‘asparapiss’. You may or may not have noticed this odour, because not everyone has the nasal receptors that can detect the chemical components of asparagus in urine.
Pin the Asparagus Salad HERE.
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 bunch of Asparagus; washed
- 1 cup fresh Italian Parsley
- 1/4 cup red onion; finely diced
- 1 lemon; zested and juiced
- 1/2 can chickpeas; drained and rinsed
- Preserved Lemon Tahini Dressing
- If the onions are strong, place in cold water and soak while you make the salad and dressing.
- Chop heads off of asparagus and reserve. Chop stalks cross-wise into thin rounds.
- Place wild rice, asparagus, parsley, lemon zest, and chickpeas in a large bowl.
- Make dressing.
- Drain onions and add to bowl
- Add dressing to the salad and mix. Drizzle fresh lemon juice over all as desired.