This post is sponsored by Toby’s Family Foods. All thoughts, photos, and opinions are my own.
Springtime farmer’s markets in Portland, OR is like going into a candy store if you like salads. I especially enjoy walking through the Wednesday market in downtown’s Park Blocks to peruse the colorful produce. Stumbling across a new item I’ve never cooked with is a common occurrence in the NW market–mizuna (aka Japanese mustard greens), calcots (sweet green onions made popular in Catalonia), and kale raab (whenever you see the word raab, think blossoms) were all items I ran into in the same week! The funniest part of this story is definitely purchasing kale raab only to realize later that evening I have plentiful supply that I’ve been hacking out of my garden and just tossing out! Little did I know that kale blossoms are quite lovely and sweet when cooked over high heat (like on a grill).
May is National Salad Month, and for that reason, I’ve teamed up with Toby’s Family Foods to share some fresh salad ideas! We try and do salad as a meal at least four times a week, and when I’m not making my own vinaigrettes, I’m usually tossing in one of Toby’s Dressings–staples in our home are understandably the Blue Cheese and Jalapeño Ranch. Today’s recipe is harnessing the quick and easy prep of asparagus paired with fresh spring radishes, savory bacon, and Toby’s Blue Cheese Dressing. I really enjoy serving this recipe with the ends of the asparagus dipped in the dressing as it allows for a much prettier presentation than chopped asparagus, however should you choose to chop it and toss it in, that works too.
Spring Romaine Salad with Bacon, Radish and Blue Cheese Dipped Asparagus Featuring Toby’s Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1 Large head of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
- 1 Carrot, thinly sliced with a mandolin or hand peeler
- 6 Spears of fresh asparagus, cut and blanched (see below instructions)
- 3 Radishes, thinly sliced with a mandolin
- 3-4 Slices of bacon, cooked and drained of fat
- 3-4 T Toby’s Blue Cheese Dressing
- Pepper to taste
Begin by blanching the asparagus; bring a medium sized pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop in the asparagus and set a timer for 1 minute. Remove the asparagus using tongs or a spider skimmer and test–should you like your asparagus cooked through a little more feel free to return to the pot for an additional 30-60 seconds, however I prefer mine to maintain its bite quality. Set to the side to rest on some paper towels.
Meanwhile, plate the lettuce and top with sliced carrot, radishes, and bacon. Dress liberally and dip the ends of the asparagus and border the salad with them. Apply pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
Recipe serves 2.