alive logo

Asparagus Bouquet Salad with Smoked Rosy Tahini Dressing

Serves 4 to 6


    Asparagus Bouquet Salad with Smoked Rosy Tahini Dressing

    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.



    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.


    Asparagus Bouquet Salad with Smoked Rosy Tahini Dressing


    • 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


    Per serving:

    • calories277
    • protein6g
    • fat24g
      • saturated fat3g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates14g
      • sugars3g
      • fibre6g
    • sodium)294mg



    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.


    Like this recipe?

    This recipe is part of the 4 Delectable Recipes That Are Amazing for Women's Health collection.



    SEE MORE »
    Poached Sablefish and Bok Choy with Lemongrass, Ginger, and Chili
    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.