Meatless Mondays: Warm Spring Salad

Warm Spring Salad (1)

Locavore living isn’t always easy. The bulk of our winter food consists of root vegetables, beans, grains, greens, frozen and canned stuff. We cheat a bit, mostly with stuff we wouldn’t be able to get around here anyway like citrus and avocados. But for the most part we try to live locally. So when spring arrives and the Greenmarkets start showing evidence of food other than cellared winter produce, you can imagine I get a bit excited. Too excited, maybe. I fill my bags with asparagus, ramps, lettuce and quarts of strawberries, completely ignoring how perishable some items are and there’s only two mouths to feed. I started canning for just that reason, to make sure we weren’t wasting things.  Most meals use a little of this and a little of that, leaving me with odd quantities of produce left over, threatening to spoil. In the winter, all these things would easily be tossed into a kitchen sink stew, cooking on the stove or in the slow cooker for hours, maybe with some beef or sausage. However in the warmth of the summer, I want nothing like that. So my kitchen sink meals get a bit more creative.

I try to observe Meatless Mondays, and for the most part am pretty good. Except for holiday weekends when the fact that it’s Monday doesn’t even register. To make up for it, we generally have Meatless Tuesdays. Tofu Tuesdays? The alliteration means everything. I opened my fridge last Monday to find some radishes, asparagus, scallions, bok choy and some leftover roasted garlic scapes. Quite an eclectic sampling, but easily a meal.

What I had to work with

What I had to work with

After my first success with sautéed radishes, I was ready to try again. I barely cooked everything, adding the firmest ingredients first and the bok choy last. A simple saute with some white balsamic for acid. The original dish included some rhubarb, though after careful observation (read: tasting) it was determined not to be complimentary to the other ingredients. Perhaps if it was sweetened and roasted first, but plain it was far too bitter. The meal was perfect for us as is, but would also be great served over white rice. As leftovers you could serve it room temp, slightly warmed or right out of the fridge.

Warm Spring Salad (Serves 2-4)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch radishes, cleaned & quartered
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 c bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c roasted garlic scapes
  • 1/2 c scallions, thinly sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan until warm. Add asparagus and radishes and cook for a few minutes until browned and slightly softened. Add vinegar and continue cooking until almost evaporated. Add bok choy and roasted garlic scapes and saute until bok choy starts to wilt. Remove from heat and stir in scallions. Season with salt, pepper and additional vinegar as desired.

Warm Spring Salad (2)

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