One of the things I love most about this time of year is the appearance of spring vegetables at the market. I enjoy it all: asparagus, peas, tender lettuces …. yum!
Spring is also the perfect time to start introducing lighter dishes, like salad. So, inspired by the beautiful produce at my local store, I created a colorful Spring Vegetable Salad. This salad is full of crunchy veggies tossed with a light Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette and topped with lemony Roasted Chickpeas. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the season!
Serves 4, as a Main Dish
- 2 14-oz. cans chickpeas
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- zest from 1 lemon, minced (reserve lemon juice for vinaigrette)
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- juice from 1 lemon (use lemon from chickpeas)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 1 bunch asparagus, about 1 pound
- 1.5 cups sugar snap peas
- 8 baby potatoes (I used purple potatoes, but any variety works)
- 1 14-oz. can quartered artichoke hearts
- 1 bunch Radishes
- 2 small turnips
- 2 green onions
- 1 head butter Lettuce
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Fill a small and a medium saucepan with salted water; place both on high heat and bring to boil.
While waiting for water to boil, drain and rinse chickpeas. Pat dry with a paper towel. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and add dried chickpeas, spreading into a single layer. Place chickpeas in preheated oven and bake for 45 – 60 minutes, or until crunchy throughout. Remove from oven and immediately toss with olive oil, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
When water in small saucepan reaches a boil, gently add eggs. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 14 minutes. Drain eggs and refill saucepan with cold water and ice cubes. When cooled, peel and quarter eggs. Set aside.
Trim tough stems from asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces. When water in medium saucepan reaches a boil, add asparagus. Cook until asparagus turns bright green, about 1 minute. Remove asparagus from water with a slotted spoon. Rinse under cold water and set aside.
After removing asparagus from water, add sugar snap peas. Cook until peas turn bright green, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water. Slice peas into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
Add whole potatoes to the boiling water after removing peas. Cook potatoes until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Depending on size, quarter or half the potatoes and then set aside.
Prepare the remaining vegetables. Drain artichokes. Remove stems and roots from radishes and quarter or half, depending on size. Peel turnips and cut into quarters; slice quarters thinly, 1/4-inch or less. Thinly slice green part of onions (reserve white part for another use). Wash and dry lettuce.
Add lemon juice to a small bowl; combine with minced shallot, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and sugar. Slowly whisk in olive oil until vinaigrette is thick. Season to taste generously with salt and pepper.
Divide butter lettuce between 4 bowls. Place asparagus, peas, potatoes, artichokes, radishes, and turnips in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette to vegetables and mix gently to distribute. Taste veggies and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
Top lettuce with vegetables. Divide chickpeas between bowls. Add a quartered hard-boiled egg to each bowl and sprinkle salad with green onions.
- The chickpeas are best eaten shortly after roasting, otherwise they will lose their crunch.
- Substitute your favorite vegetables.
- Include fruit for extra sweetness.
- Leave out the eggs for a vegan salad.
- Add cooked chicken for meat eaters.
- Sprinkle the salad with crumbled cheese (goat or feta would be delicious) for added richness.
Do you have a favorite spring vegetable?
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