On Roasted Asparagus, Corn, and Spinach Salad

Dear readers,

As a follow up to the last post, I have another vegan/veggie friendly salad for your viewing and eating pleasure! When we agreed to host the birthday festivities, originally, the plan had been to order food for delivery/do the ever generic-Costco run, but given that the birthday man and a handful of our attendees were vegetarian/vegan, I decided to throw the generic dishes out the window and go full on homemade. Was it a lot of work? AAAAABSOLUTELY, but to see how little was leftover was so satisfying and made the whole day of prep and cooking worth it. I will have one more recipe coming out in 2 weeks for you to try that was also a big hit at this party!

But THIS. SALAD. This salad was the BIGGEST hit of the night (next to the pickles, and of course my herbed carrot salad because that is already vegan friendly!), and so many of the guests asked for the recipe. But of course, because I’ve spaced everything out a little more this year to accommodate the new day job and cookie baking (both of which do take quite a bit of my day), it’s just taken a little longer to publish than I had anticipated. That being said, this has become my go to jar salad for work these days just because I can mix EVERYTHING (except my greens, which I swapped with arugula just for giggles) ahead of time and then add the greens to the jar the day of so they stay fresh and crisp! What’s not to love?!?!

P.S. Don’t forget that you can order cookies from me directly from my Cookie Order Page on this very same blog! (Yes, shameless plug, but I need to keep pushing it!)

Hoping you are safe and well!

— Cooking Maggie

On Roasted Asparagus, Corn, and Spinach Salad

Ingredients

Lemon Mint Spinach Pesto Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mint
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup grated vegan parmesan (use regular parm if you don’t want to keep this vegan)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Salad

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 ears of corn
  • 1 cup of spinach (plus more just in case – can also use arugula)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated vegan parm (or regular if not going vegan)
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Optional for non-vegan viewers: Crumbled bacon bits…yeah, I said it…

Instructions

  1. For the dressing: Add everything (except oil, salt, and pepper) to a food processor. Add the olive oil in a little at a time until everything comes together – you don’t want the dressing to be TOO loose because it is a pesto after all, but you don’t want it too thick that it can’t evenly coat everything. Add salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
  2. For the Asparagus: Heat oven to 450F. Toss asparagus with a little olive oil and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for 7 minutes, then set aside to cool to room temp.
  3. For the Corn: Char the corn directly over a flame on your stove, turning every so often to get all sides – if you don’t have a gas stove, broil your corn and rotate accordingly. Allow to cool down, then cut the corn off the cob and mix with the asparagus in a big bowl.
  4. For the Salad (for group settings): In the large bowl with the corn and asparagus, add the dressing and everything else in (except the bacon if you’re making this vegan), and serve! Add olive salt/pepper if neededj.
  5. For the Salad (for lunch/meal prep): In the bowl, add the dressing and everything except your leafy green spinach (or arugula). In your desired container or a jar, fill 1/2 of it up with the pesto salad mixture. If making the night before, put a small piece of paper towel between your pesto, then add in your lettuce – store in the fridge overnight, or add in the leafy greens the morning of.

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