Asparagus, potato, mushrooms, bacon! Waww! What a superb combination! Could it get any better?! No, I don’t think so! For me this is pure perfection!
I have to say that asparagus is such a nice vegetable and the beauty of it is that you can now find it in shops almost all year round. It’s a spring veggie, so if you wish to just have it in season, spring is the time to look for and cook asparagus but I don’t mind it out of season either. In my household a lot of asparagus gets munched.
How lucky are we that nowadays you find such a range of veggies all throughout the year which is absolutely great!
Good salads are always a bonus…
They are quick to prepare, healthy and can be super versatile with endless combo possibilities. You just have to get courageous and creative.
I make this salad quite often and I slightly change the ingredients, depending on what I have and what I fancy that day but mainly because I truly enjoy trying new stuff all the time.
I’m lucky my kids do eat everything I cook, and I don’t need to cook special foods for them. Truthfully though, I wouldn’t be prepared to do that anyway, they need to eat what is there as I cook pretty healthy stuff so why fussing around?! ? I’m saying this but I do realise I’m lucky as children are more and more such fussy eaters now, it is incredible with a great number eating so unhealthily.
Starter or a main….
This dish makes both an amazing and joyful starter as well as a main. We just love it and enjoy its taste every time it’s on the table.
It is not a pretentious dish at all and this is what I like about cooking this kind of food in general. It’s quick, it’s tasty, it’s healthy and it can be served all throughout the year, what else could I wish for?
A salad like this ticks all the ‘boxes’ for me! Yes, it looks great too – I really love colours, many, many colours on my plate will greatly cheer me up, and this dish offers exactly that.
Enjoy it too folks!
Let’s start cooking then, shall we?!?!
Potato and roast asparagus salad
Preparing the salad:
- 200 g salad (rocket and spinach, lamb's lettuce or cress)
- 450 g asparagus
- 250 g mushrooms
- 400 g baby potatoes
- 16 cherry tomatoes (on vine)
- 8 rashers bacon (thick cut) (or 200 g gammon)
- 80 g blue cheese (Gorgonzola, Danish Blue, Stilton or Roquefort)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preparing the vinaigrette:
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp seeds mustard
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp salad cream
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 6-8 radishes (to decorate)
- Preheat oven at 190 C; 475 F or Gas mark 5.
- Place a pot with water on medium heat.
- Wash the salad and all the veggies: asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms and potatoes as well as the radishes.
- Put the washed potatoes into the boiling water and boil them for about 6-7 min.
- Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus further by snapping the woody ends.
- When the potatoes are done drain and cut in halves. They do not need to be fully boiled but rather just slightly soft on the outside 2/3 boiled so they finish baking at the same time with the rest of the veggies).
- Prepare an oven tray, lay in the asparagus (in one layer) the tomatoes you could place next to or on top of the asparagus and also the halved pre-boiled potatoes. Drizzle as much olive oil as you wish but I recommend no more than 1-2 tbsp.
- Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 min or so. Keep an eye on the asparagus so this doesn't dry too much or burn.
- While the veggies are in the oven, cut the mushrooms into slices and cook in a pan over a medium heat with one tsp olive or 1/4 tsp coconut oil added towards the end of the cooking after all water has evaporated. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Cook the bacon or gammon ( cut into small chunks/ slices) and fry in a pan or place into the oven and bake it for about 25-30 min.
- Prepare the vinaigrette by gathering all its ingredients into a jar. Place the lid on and shake the life out of it. It will become the best ever vinaigrette - in fact I never buy any salad dressing and I always make my own as I wish. I will come back one day with one page dedicated to just salad dressings all sorts.
- Take out the serving plates and start arranging your ingredients by placing the salad first then scatter around a bit of all ingredients, the potatoes, asparagus, bacon/gammon and the tomatoes.
- Drizzle your beautiful dressing (about 2-3 tbsp) over and finish by scattering few slices of nicely and finely sliced radishes.
- Best is to serve it warm and if you choose to use the cheese, make sure you add some little crumbs or lumps straight away to have it slightly melted. Yumm!! ??
Whenever choosing to bake the asparagus, make sure the asparagus is really plump, the plumpest you can find. If it is only a thin and young one that you have just grill it.
I keep the bacon or gammon in cold water for aprox. 20-30 minutes, to take some of the salt out but this is because I do not like anything too salty - you don’t need to do that if you are okay with the amount of salt. I always find it way too salty for my taste buds.
Some other veggies that could be used and juggled with in this salad could be baked beets, baked sweet potatoes, butternut squash, a nice bunched carrot, parsnip or any root veggie. I find those are best to bake. You could also use grilled aubergines and/or any colour grilled peppers.
Try adding some red onions (caramelize them in the oven by slicing one or two little red onions in a smaller dish drizzled with some olive oil and placed in the oven along with the rest of the veggies) but just separate trays, unless you have plenty of space in the tray you are using for the other veggies, in which case, you could spread those out at one end and give them a good olive oil drizzle. Delicious! ?
You could also add some blue cheese or use this as a replacement for the bacon/gammon for a vegetarian version. I love blue cheeses and I will tell you just a little about those. I love them all but I use them depending on what I fancy that day. If it is a strong one that I fancy, I’d use a Roquefort, for a medium option I would go for a Stilton and if it is a really mild flavour that I am after I would just use Gorgonzola or a Danish Blue. Decisions, decisions… always hard, as I am totally crazy and utterly nuts about cheese.
Whatever you decide to use cheese or bacon or not - this salad is to die for.
Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!