Many women are leaning into motherhood in their thirties, when increased levels of folate are needed. In this recipe, dark leafy vegetables coupled with asparagus and artichokes add an über-healthy hit of folate. Not only is this bouquet lovely to look at, but it also offers a combination of flavours that virtually pop in your palate.
DID YOU KNOW?
Folate is a B vitamin naturally present in many foods and is essential for forming healthy DNA and other genetic materials. It’s especially important for pregnant women to facilitate the healthy division of cells.
TIP: There are many foods naturally rich in folate that would be delicious with the Smoked Rosy Tahini Dressing. All dark leafy vegetables, Brussels sprouts, various nuts, black-eyed peas, and kidney beans are excellent sources of folate and would be a delicious substitute for the greens in the Asparagus Bouquet Salad.
1 tsp (5 mL) coriander seeds
1/2 tsp (2 mL) fennel seeds
1/2 tsp (2 mL) black peppercorns
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup (125 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large garlic clove, smashed and minced
1 lb (450 g) asparagus spears, trimmed
2 cups (500 mL) spring greens such as
lambís lettuce and baby spinach leaves
14 oz (398 mL) can artichoke hearts, drained
4 large radishes, thinly shaved
2 Tbsp (30 mL) tahini
1/4 tsp (1 mL) smoked paprika
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1 tsp (5 mL) honey
1/4 cup (60 mL) walnut halves, toasted
Green grapes, optional
In small, heavy saucepan, add coriander, fennel, and peppercorns. Toast in dry pan until aromatic and seeds begin to pop, about 1 minute. Be careful not to burn. Transfer to mortar and pestle and lightly crush. Return to saucepan along with lemon zest, oil, thyme, and garlic. Simmer over medium-low heat until garlic begins to sizzle, about 5 minutes. Remove, cover pan with lid, and set aside for 15 minutes for flavours to fully blend.
In medium bowl, place some ice cubes and fill with water. Set aside. Bring medium saucepan of water to a boil. Set a couple of raw asparagus spears aside for garnish. Add remaining asparagus spears to boiling water and briefly blanch until bright green but still crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus. Immediately drain and place asparagus in
ice water to stop the cooking. Remove and blot dry.
On large platter, artfully arrange asparagus and spring greens into the shape of a bouquet. Quarter artichoke hearts and blot dry. Tuck into arrangement along with shaved rounds of radishes.
In small bowl, combine lemon juice, tahini, paprika, salt, and honey. Strain infused garlic oil into lemon
juice and whisk thoroughly to fully emulsify. Drizzle
2 to 3 Tbsp (30 to 45 mL) dressing overtop the asparagus bouquet and sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Thinly shave 2 raw asparagus spears lengthwise and twist overtop of salad. Refrigerate remaining dressing for up to 1 week
to use for another dish.