Asparagus and Courgette Salad with Avocado and Herb Dressing

Asparagus and Courgette Salad with Avocado and Herb Dressing

Directions

Serves 4-6

Make the avocado and herb dressing; place the herbs in a blender or food processor. Process until very finely minced. Add mustard, olive oil, and vinegar. Drizzle the peeled avocado with the lemon juice. Scrape down the bowl then process for just a few seconds, then add the avocado with lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. 

Trim the asparagus to remove excess leaves on the stalk and trim the woody ends with a sharp knife. Cut the asparagus lengthways. Heat a deep saute pan or frying pan with 2 cups water, and add lemon slices and salt. Blanch the asparagus in the boiling water for 2 minutes until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh in ice cold water to stop the cooking.

Trim courgettes of long stems, wash and slice lengthways. Using the same pan of water, lightly blanch the courgettes for 1 minute, turn and leave for 1 more minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh in ice cold water. Cook the peas and snow peas in a similar way, blanching for 1 minute until tender. Refresh in cold water. 

Assemble the salad, by spooning half the avocado and herb dressing onto the bottom of the plate. Arrange the asparagus and courgettes over the dressing and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle over the peas and snow peas and garnish with fresh courgette flowers, basil leaves and pea tendrils. Finally squeeze over the lemon juice, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve with remainder avocado and herb dressing on the side.

The vegetables and dressing can be made ahead of time and assembled just before serving.

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