The name of this unusual and tasty salad comes from folk-beliefs about some of the ingredients, said to promote feelings of love. After all, the world of nature seems to have one thing on its mind these days: why not join in the Maytime celebration?
Love Salad has all the health benefits of raw foods plus extra flavor from quickly-blanched asparagus. Its lovely bouquet of fresh, appetizing flavors and colors comes from snappy greens, mouth-watering sweet strawberries, omega-3-rich nuts, and a shaving of cheese for a salad that will both intrigue and nourish you. Easy to throw together but so appealing your family and guests just may crown you the Love Goddess or Love God of your house!
12 asparagus spears
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 cups mixed greens (arugula, watercress, field greens)
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup shaved and crumbled Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1. Blanch the asparagus spears for a few minutes in boiling water, drain, allow to cool, and chop into 2-inch pieces.
2. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, toast the walnuts over medium-low heat for a few minutes, stirring often, until they are lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
3. Place the greens in a pretty salad bowl. Top with asparagus pieces, strawberries, walnuts, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Toss lightly to combine and serve immediately.