Green spring vegetables with lemon shallot dressing, a seasonal salad in celebration of our garden. The end of spring is near, the increasingly high midday temperatures and strong dry winds are a sign of summer that is around the corner. While fresh samphire may not be from my garden, slender new growth tips are on the plants hugging the rocky coastline in parts of Wellington Harbour. Samphire is sometimes called sea asparagus, which makes this salad like surf and turf of spring green. Paired with a fresh zesty dressing and you have a very tasty side dish, or with the addition of a grain or legume, spring green vegetables with lemon shallot dressing becomes a very satisfying supper.
Lemon Shallot Dressing
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped or grated
- zest of a lemon
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- Sea salt and ground white pepper to taste
- Blend ingredients and adjust seasoning to taste
- optional – toasted pinenuts
Spring Green Vegetables
It’s hard to go wrong when selecting a combination of spring green vegetables. My selection is from the garden or was grown nearby, its very fresh, seasonal and delicious.
- Fresh purple asparagus and foraged samphire
- Podded broad beans
Or your choice of garden fresh vegetables, top with your favourite toasted nut on a bed of lentils, quinoa or millet, the options are endless.
To retain the colour and texture of beautiful garden-fresh vegetables, blanching or steaming is my prefered method of cookery.
Cut vegetables into equal size portions. If blanching or steaming together, make sure they are all a similar size, but different vegetables will cook at different speeds (which is why I like to cook them separately).
Bring a large pot or deep frying pan to the boil.
Plunge the vegetables, one variety at a time into the boiling water, when they are just cooked, run under cold water or drop into a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking.
Drain and set aside.
In a pot of large enough to hold your steaming apparatus, bring water to the boil, it should be 3-5cm deep, but not covering the bottom of your steamer.
Once the water is boiling and the pot full of steam add your vegetables. Steam for 2-3 minutes and check progress. Remember to keep an eye on them.