About 7 years ago I went to my first farmers market in Santa Monica. It was then that I began to realize that food is seasonal and it gave a whole new meaning to the change in seasons. Although I have spent most of my life between Phoenix and Los Angeles where there really isn’t much varience in season (lets be honest), the colors and variety of produce change from winter to spring to summer to fall. And I love it.
Finding asparagus and peas at the farmers market is a sure sign to me that its spring even if when I purchased these ingredients spring equinox was still two days way. It means Easter is around the corner as is my birthday. The latter of which I celebrate with endless abounds… like the entire month lol.
On Sunday we decided to have a mini bday celebration with my parents and brothers since I will be in SF on the actual day and I chose to make this as a side salad for everyone to enjoy. Lets just say its freakin delicious. The pesto really takes it to the next level and this recipe makes about twice what you will need so feel free to enjoy the next day on your avo toast, breakfast salad w/ fried eggs or on pasta. Mmm all so good.
Start by making the pesto. De-stem kale and put everything into a food processor. Pulse for about 30 seconds. scrap down the sides and continue to pulse 30 more seconds. Scape down sides again and then turn on high until desired consistency is reached.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Create and ice bath with ice cubes and water, set aside.
Chop asparagus into 1 inch pieces, measure out 1 heaping cup full. Once water is boiling add in the peas and asparagus and blanch. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and once bright green transfer to ice bath using a slotted spoon.
In a large bowl combine your lettuce greens, lemon zest and juice, oil, quinoa, leeks, nutritional yeast, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste if desired and toss to evenly coat.
Add in asparagus, peas, avocado cubes and a couple big dollaps of pesto. Divide amongst plates. This would be great with fried eggs, salmon or baked tofu.
This will serve two as mains or four as side.