Sometimes a salad is just a salad. Sometimes it's a fortuitous combination of what's in the pantry with what's in season that becomes more than the sum of its parts. This one was a happy accident that paired the best of the spring produce at the market and some potatoes, that were a little past their prime, with a tangy, creamy mustard and dill dressing.
Oh, and remember those lovely pink flower cookies? I didn't have any red food coloring at the time, so I cracked open a can of beets to get at the liquid to tint the icing. The beets have been sitting in my fridge since then, just waiting for this moment. They were so good in the salad that my husband noted with surprise how well he liked them in this dish and my son even ate a few bites of them with hardly any gagging noises.
Spring Salad with Fresh Corn and Asparagus
(Click here for printable recipe.)
3-4 medium potatoes, about 2 lbs, washed, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
3 ears fresh corn, broken in half
1 lb asparagus with ends removed, washed and cut into 2 inch pieces
15 oz can sliced beets, drained and cut in half, with liquid reserved
Mustard Dill Dressing:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs reserved liquid from beets
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbs agave syrup (or other sweetener)
3 Tbs fresh or 3 tsp dried chopped dill weed
1 tsp kosher salt
Add potatoes and corn to a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. The asparagus may either be steamed separately to maximize nutrients or tossed in with the potatoes and corn for the last five minutes of cook time for convenience.
While the vegetables are cooking, combine olive oil, mustard, lemon juice and liquid from beets in a large bowl. Whisk together until creamy. Add garlic, sweetener, dill and salt, then whisk again until smooth. Stir in beets until covered with dressing. (This will help keep the potatoes from getting irregular pink stains. Instead they should have a nice, even pink hue.)
When the vegetables are done boiling, use a pair of tongs to pull out the corn. Place them in cold water to cool off. Drain the potatoes (and asparagus) and mix into the salad dressing. Stand a piece of corn on the cob vertically on a cutting board and hold it in position while cutting the kernels off into planks. Repeat with the rest of the corn and mix into the salad.
Salad may be served immediately while still warm or chilled for later.
I'm sharing my hearty, healthy salad with:
- this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge issued by Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs,
- Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday at Allergen Free Cuisine,
- Souper Sunday hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen,
- and the Real Food Weekly Round Up at The Whole Gang,