Spelt Salad with Roasted Green Asparagus, Radish and Walnuts

Photo courtesy California Walnuts

I do have to admit that,  at home, there’s not a lot to be excited about these days. Considering, though, what’s happening in my city and around the world, having less excitement is a good thing. But there is excitement on the horizon: asparagus season is coming. And that is always something that brings joy!

Besides being a taste treat, asparagus offers a powerhouse of nutrition. Whether green or white, these stalks are super sources of folate, vitamin C, potassium, fibre and a variety of phytonutrients and antioxidants.

A cup of spears with its almost 3 grams of fibre – not a paltry amount at all – offers prebiotic effects. These are the preferred food for the healthy bacteria in your gut. (Check out my post on prebiotics versus probiotics)

Asparagus also supplies other immune system benefits due to its glutathione content. Add in other compounds, such as saponins with their anticancer effects, and this springtime offering offers much more than just pleasure for your palate.

Here’s a delicious way to enjoy it adapted from California Walnuts. Feel free to change up the grain to one you have on hand or make it gluten-free by substituting quinoa, buckwheat or sorghum for the spelt.

Spelt Salad with Roasted Green Asparagus, Radish and Walnuts

1-1/2 cups spelt, uncooked
4 cups vegetable stock
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups asparagus pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Cook the spelt according to the package instructions in the vegetable stock until soft. Drain, then set it aside to cool.

Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to a frying pan and cook the asparagus with the garlic until tender and fragrant. Set aside.

Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked spelt, cooked asparagus and garlic, radish slices, and toasted walnut pieces. Pour the lemon dressing over the mixture and toss to coat. Divide into serving bowls and serve immediately.

Makes 4 sevings

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Recipes, Whole Foods

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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