Roasted Asparagus, Avocado and Arugula Salad
This theshiksa.com recipe is like spring on a plate. You can substitute spring greens, butterhead lettuce or chopped spinach, though the peppery flavor of the arugula mellows with the simple dressing.
- 1 bunch (about 1 lb.) asparagus
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar
- 1 ripe avocado
- 4 cups arugula (you can substitute or try it with your spinach or butterhead lettuce)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. After you clean your asparagus, make sure to pat it totally dry before proceeding. Slice the tough stalk ends from your asparagus (1-2 inches at the bottom of each stalk).
Place the asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle the stalks with 1 tbsp. olive oil, then rub each stalk with your hands to evenly coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper—freshly ground black pepper is best. Place prepared asparagus into the oven and let it roast for 12-15 minutes till the toughest parts of the stalks are tender and the leafy tips are starting to get crispy.
While the asparagus is cooking, place the pine nuts into a small skillet over medium heat and toast them for a few minutes till they turn golden brown and aromatic. Be careful, stir constantly, and keep a close eye once they start to brown—they can go from brown to burned very quickly. Once they’ve turned golden, pour them into a small bowl and reserve. When the asparagus has finished cooking, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Cut each stalk into 4-5 pieces each. Discard any overly tough ends that did not get tender during roasting.
In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, basil, honey and a pinch of salt. Vegans can sub agave for the honey in the dressing, or leave it out. As you whisk the mixture rapidly, very slowly drizzle in the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil till emulsified with the juice mixture. Reserve dressing. Cut the avocado into small cubes. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ tbsp. lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.
In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, roasted asparagus, toasted pine nuts, avocado and dressing. Toss gently till the ingredients are well mixed and the arugula is evenly moistened by the dressing. Season the salad with additional salt to taste, if desired. Serve.