Grilled Fennel & Asparagus Salad

As Spring time comes, there is a shift in the produce available on the market. Spring is the season for light and fresh vegetables and this starts to be reflected in our meals too.

On a recent trip to the supermarket’s fresh produce section, I noticed some nice green asparagus and some fresh fennel bulbs. I immediately wanted to get them even if I had nothing in mind what to do with them yet.

While living in Budapest, we frequently bought asparagus, both the green and the white variants. We have prepared a mouthwatering Spinach and Asparagus Risotto multiple times, and I always saw this dish as a celebration of Spring produce. Although in Malta we do not find ramps, I have made a similar risotto based on the the same recipe.

Back to the salad; After a whole morning running errands, I prepared this quick, fresh and lovely salad as a light meal, using both the asparagus and fennel bulb I bought a day before. Before grilling the asparagus and fennel bulb, I tossed them quickly in a tangy marinade, bringing out their freshness which resulted in a vibrant taste. The marinade included the juice and zest of a lemon, some white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and chilli flakes. I used the same marinade as a dressing to the salad.

In this recipe, I used the green olives which my father harvested late last year from his fields. After a couple of months in brine, they were transferred to a jar of olive oil for preservation and subsequent consumption.

This salad is ideal on a warm Spring day but I would eat it even on a grey day as it definitely brings sunshine to your mood! 😀 It is also great to serve this salad as a side dish.

[recipe title=”Grilled Fennel & Asparagus Salad” servings=”2 (as a meal)” time=”30mins” difficulty=”easy” image=”https://www.kitchenvoyage.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/fennelasparagussalad.jpg” description=”A quick tangy and fresh Spring salad ideal for a light lunch or as a side dish”]
[recipe-ingredients]
For the marinade/dressing:
– Zest of 1 lemon
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
– 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
– Sea salt & black pepper
For the salad:
– 8-10 green asparagus
– 1 fennel bulb
– 50g pine nuts
– 50g sultanas
– 100g kalamata olives
– 200g mixed salad leaves
[/recipe-ingredients]
[recipe-directions]
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the marinade. Make sure that the olive oil is well combined with the rest of the ingredients. Set aside.
2. Trim the asparagus and the fennel bulb. Slice the fennel bulb in half.
3. Toss the vegetables into the marinade and cover them well.
4. Put a pan on a medium high heat. Once hot, place the vegetables into the pan and grill until they start to char. Turn them over so they have some colour on all sides.
5. In the meantime, toast the pine nuts in a small pan until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
6. Once ready chop the asparagus and fennel into bite size pieces.
7. In a large mixing bowl, combine all salad ingredients together. Pour some dressing over and toss everything to coat all ingredients.
8. Once you pour the dressing, serve immediately.
[/recipe-directions]
[/recipe]

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