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Asian Inspired Salad


At this time of year I yearn for the early spring produce which arrives at the local grocers over the next few weeks. Some have begun to show up, raised in the southern states, like asparagus and strawberries. We still will wait for anything regionally grown. The heart of the matter is I want fresh and raw veggies in my diet and a good salad doesn’t hurt. So different from years ago when iceberg lettuce and romaine were all you could get. Now we have many greens to choose from. Much is shipped from around the world and others grown in locally created environments, micro greens, hydroponic lettuces and other crops.

I enjoy dinner salads, main course or entrée salads. Different textures and ingredients help make a salad more interesting and perhaps more nutritious. A salad is also less taxing to make than most hot meals. One must, however, procure the ingredients which means a trip to a grocer with an abundant produce section. Edible pod peas, asparagus, Persian cucumbers, scallions, rich creamy avocados, crunchy almonds in a simple sesame-ginger dressing balance this salad. Add a protein such as grilled or tinned fish, hard boiled egg, chicken or shrimp to make it complete.

4 Servings


  • 8 ounces of mixed greens. 3 or more kinds preferably

  • 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, flesh removed from the pit and skin, then cut into bite sized pieces

  • 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/2 inch slices

  • 6 ounces edible pod peas, stems and strings removed

  • 6 ounces asparagus, trimmed of the tough stalk

  • 1 cup shelled edamame, cooked and chilled

  • 3 or 4 scallions, sliced on the bias

  • 1 small red bell pepper cut into slivers

  • 16 cherry tomatoes cut in half

  • 1 small watermelon radish, peeled and sliced thinly

  • ½ cup of cilantro, roughly chopped

  • ½ cup of sliced or slivered almonds, lightly toasted

  • A sprinkling of sesame seeds, if desired

  • Sesame-ginger dressing


  • Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil

  • Blanch the pea pods in the boiling water for 30 to 40 seconds, then immediately plunge into an ice water bath. Repeat with the asparagus.

  • Drain the peas and the asparagus and cut on the bias into 1/2 inch lengths. Set aside

  • In a large salad bowl, place the mixed greens and then arrange the prepared vegetables over top of the greens. Alternatively, do the same, but rather in individual serving bowls

  • Sprinkle the almonds over the salad

  • Drizzle the sesame-ginger dressing over the salad to taste, then toss lightly to coat the greens

Sesame-Ginger Dressing


  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • ½ cup orange juice

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons coconut aminos

  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

  • 3 tablespoons tahini

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and minced

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)


Place all ingredients in a bullet blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Alternatively, place the ingredients in a pint jar and blend with a stick blender.

This salad is interesting and substantial. If you want more protein eat grilled tofu, chicken, fish or beef and the salad. We like this salad at my home and it will be easy to use any time of year. Make a smaller version and serve as a side salad. Use the dressing as a dip on a crudités platter or a marinade for chicken or pork. If you do not prefer almonds, substitute pepitas or sunflower seeds. Customize to your taste and it will be a regular on your table.