asparagus-salad-with-burrata-crop

Three Titans of Taste

As we thaw out from the winter, there are some vegetables that come into season in April and May, that thrive in our delightful and cool Colorado climate. Among those vegetables are three titans of taste; spinach, radishes and asparagus. All three are vitamin and nutrient rich helping to boost healthy lifestyle and overall wellness. Spinach alone is always in the top 10 superfood listings.

Spinach is considered a superfood for many reasons. It has antioxidant and anticancer properties, is rich in protein and vitamins including vitamins A, C and E. Spinach is a great source of vitamin K that plays a critical role in protecting your heart, bone health, and helps your blood to clot properly. Spinach is also one of the best sources of dietary magnesium which is necessary for energy metabolism, maintaining muscle and nerve function, regular heart rhythm, a healthy immune system and maintaining an optimum blood pressure. Many of you may know these health facts already, but did you know some of these odd facts about spinach (courtesy of Wikipedia)? Spinach is a native plant of Persia (modern day Iran), it was most probably brought to Europe in the 12th century and to the U.S. in 1806. In the 1930’s, U.S. growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption. Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as an ink or paint.

Radishes, while not the most popular vegetable on the veggie tray, are not only packed with nutrients, but can add beautiful color to dishes like salad and stir fry. Radishes are a good source of vitamin C. A half cup serving offers about 14% of your recommended daily intake. According to Linus Pauling Institute (focused on vitamins and other essential micronutrients and their role in enhancing health and preventing disease), cruciferous vegetables, like radishes, help purge the body of cancer-causing substances and prevent tumor development. [Read more…]

asparagus-salad-with-burrata-crop

Shaved Asparagus with Burrata, Radish and Cucumber

Ingredients

8 oz. asparagus

6 oz. radishes, thinly sliced

6 oz. cucumber, finely diced

4 oz. Burrata

Microgreens or pea greens, for the top

Crusty bread, for serving

Lime Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon white balsalmic vinegar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more if needed

½ teaspoon grated lime zest

3 stalks green garlic or ramps, white and light green parts, minced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Snap off the tough bottoms of the asparagus and discard.  Snap off the tips then cut them into thin slices.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave the spears lengthwise by holding the end with your nondominant hand and peeling away from your hand using even, heavy pressure.  You can rest the flat surface you first create on a cutting board for a more stable base as you shave the rest of the spear.

To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice and lime zest.  Gradually whisk in the olive oil until smooth.  Stir in the green garlic and season generously with salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lime juice if necessary.

Divide the radishes, cucumber, and asparagus between two plates.  Dollop the Burrata, drizzle the vinaigrette, and scatter the microgreens.  Serve with crusty bread if you like.