May, Spring! They’re here — and I’m here for them.
And that’s new for me.
Truth be told, this season has always been my least favorite. But there’s change in the air, literally and figuratively, in how I perceive Spring.
Funny how a different setting, like living in a different place, can open your eyes to the beauty of simple things. For 9 years we were in the middle of city with no yard, no outdoor house chores, amongst all the noise….. and I was missing everything that people love about spring.
the clean, refreshing air,
the new life that blooms everywhere.
Now I’m seeing Mother Nature wake up right in front of my eyes, and it’s invigorating. My personal self feels like she’s awakening. Even my kitchen, too.
Meals are a little lighter, a little greener, like this Springtime Broccoli Crunch Salad that is a nod to the classic creamy broccoli salad that you’ll find in most deli cases. Or maybe your mother’s version, like mine, which always had sunflower seeds, raisins, bacon, and green onions.
Although I love those types, I wanted to make a brighter balanced salad, instead of overly creamy. I took a bit of a seasonal approach to this recipe, with broccoli joined by blanched asparagus, as to enjoy this vegetable at its absolute prime – along with green onions, lemon zest, and fresh herbs.
The dressing is a blend of mayonaise and yogurt, to still be satisfying, but not overly rich. Also offset by the punch of white wine vinegar. You can see in the photos that the dressing lightly coats and infuses the vegetables!
But my favorite addition to this salad is the Marcona Almond/Dried Cranberry/Dried Blueberry blend from Diamond Nuts. The little bit of sweetness and nuttiness is exactly what was needed to round things out. And instead of having to buy the individual nuts and fruits, the blend was such a convenient (and delicious!) solution.
If you make this broccoli crunch salad, be sure to tag me on Instagram with hashtag #heartbeetkitchen or @heartbeetkitchen!
Broccoli Crunch Salad
- 10 spears of asparagus, cut into 1 inch diagonal pieces (woody ends removed)
- 1 medium head of broccoli, stems mostly removed and cut into florets
- 1 package Diamond Nuts Heirloom Nut & Fruit Blend, Marcona Almond Variety
- 1/4 cup each, chopped parsley and basil
- 2 green onions, white and green parts
- zest of one lemon
- 1/3 cup mayonaise
- 1/4 cup full fat greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Bring a pot of boiling, salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes, then blanch in an ice water bath for 5 minutes. Drain asparagus, and dry off as best you can with a kitchen towel.
Add to a large bowl with the broccoli, Marcona almond blend, herbs, green onions, and lemon zest.
To make dressing, whisk mayo, yogurt, vinegar, honey salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust if needed. Pour dressing onto vegetables, and stir to thoroughly coat. Refrigerate for one hour, then serve.