Spinach, Asparagus, Tomato & Seasoned Ricotta Salad with a Maple Balsamic & Dijon Vinaigrette a.k.a. Partay-In-My-Mouth
GUYS, I just can’t stop impressing myself in the kitch. I don’t mean to brag & all but my lunch today… I finished it in like ten. Oh & I’m totz. using the word “finished” to be polite. But really, I devoured the salad I’m about to tell you about in like… it was actually five minutes & I licked the bowl clean. THE DRESSING, ZOMFG
Side note: Are you one of those people who, like me, believes that the dressing essentially makes a salad??? I mean, put THE PERFECT DRESSING (a.k.a. the one I whipped up for this salad) on even… rotten? veggies & they’ll taste good. OKAY WAIT, maybe I took that one a little too far. Fine, fine. No, but seriously, IT REALLY IS ALL ABOUT DAT DRESSING.
Ok, but what on earth is this, you ask? This, my loves, is my Spinach, Asparagus, Tomato & Seasoned Ricotta Salad with a Maple Balsamic & Dijon Vinaigrette a.k.a. Partay-In-My-Mouth. WHAT? I KNOW. IT SOUNDS TOO PERFECT. GUYS, I am the evidence that it exists, or well, rather, my very very very full tummy is the evidence. I ate it all up, went to heaven & came back quick to write the post (well rather, my Instagram post this afternoon). This is LITERALLY the perfect spring salad! I know, it seems like there isn’t a ‘whole lot” to it. It seems & looks super simple, it’s really easy to make & doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. BUT, BUT, BUT sometimes, the simpler things in life are best, right? NO, BUT IN ALL SERIOUSNESS: THIS WAS A “WOW” SALAD GUYS. I SWEAR. Please trust me. Like, it will make you forget about everything for the entire ten (actually, five) minutes, that it takes you to devour because you will be so focused on how yummy it is. OH, THE THINGS FOOD CAN DO… How did I ever give it up? I don’t know. I really, truly, genuinely don’t. BUT I AM SO HAPPY THAT FOOD IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW ONCE AGAIN, ZOMFG.
This is kind of like a fancier version of a Greek salad, but not really… I don’t know. You tell me! OKAY, enough with these descriptions. LET ME JUST TELL YOU THAT, DESPITE BEING SO EFFING GOOD, THIS SALAD IS BEYOND HEALTHY. It’s full of greens, it’s good for your bod, but also good for your taste buds & your tummy (a.k.a. it’s also SUPA FILLING!). BASICALLY, GUYS, PARTAY IN MY MOUTH!!! Legit though, the crunchiness of the asparagus (Of course, ONLY if you follow my instructions & boil it for the right amount of time. Nobody likes soft asparagus, people) combines perfectly with the crispy fresh spinach & the juicy cherry tomatoes. ZOMFG, I NEED MORE. NOW. NOW. NOW.
Guys, all this to say, I pretty much went to SALAD HEAVEN when I devoured this babe. I HAD to give you guys the same opportunity (because I’m awesome & stuff) so I will stop rambling & get started on the ingredients list BECAUSE YOU ALL DESERVE A YUMMY & HEALTHY LUNCH TOMORROW TOO.
HERE ARE THE INGREDIENTS MES AMOURS:
- 150g of asparagus;
- 50g of cherry tomatoes;
- 30g of red onions;
- 30g of cucumber;
- 40g of spinach;
- 50g of ricotta, seasoned with organic sea salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic powder, SMOKED (very necessary) paprika & oregano (if you aren’t a fan of ricotta, goat or feta cheese could also work great! OMG, I can’t, like when I talk about cheese… I GET SO HUNGRY. ME WANT CHEESE. NOW.);
- 10g of dried cranberries;
- 1/2 tbsp. of large flake nutritional yeast (I use Bob’s Red Mill);
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (I use Bioitalia organic balsamic vinegar);
- 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar (As always, I use my baby Bragg’s);
- 1 tbsp. olive oil (I use Maison Orphée organic extra-virgin olive oil);
- 1 tsp. of honey or maple syrup (I used Decacer pure organic maple syrup, because I JUST CAN’T EVEN. When faced with the choice between maple syrup and honey, ALWAYS CHOOSE MAPLE SYRUP PEOPLE. ALWAYS. No, but honestly, honey will also work well here – it really is a matter of preference. AND I PREFER MAPLE SYRUP, OKAY?
- 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard (LET YOUR MIND RUN WILD, PEOPLE. Have fun with this part! Even flavoured Dijon mustards will will work here. GAH, if you have a maple mustard or a honey mustard, USE IT. PLEASE. DO YOURSELVES A FAVOUR FOR ONCE. I used a Mrs. McGarrigle’s Organic Canadian Maple Mustard… GUYS, IT’S SO EFFING GOOD & is the perfect compliment to the maple syrup);
- 1/2 clove of garlic;
- Organic Himalayan pink sea salt & freshly ground black peppppppa!
- OPTIONAL SALAD TOPPING: 2-3 tbsp. of chopped walnuts, toasted in a pan!
OKAY, now that we have all them ingredients listed, I need to tell you babes how to whip this thing together. It’s so easy, PROMISE!!!
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, prepare this DREAMY PERFECTLY AWESOME VINAIGRETTE. Add the balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, MAPLE SYRUP (cause you listened to me & did not use honey), Dijon, garlic, organic Himalayan pink sea salt & freshly ground black peppa to a bowl & WHISK ALL THIS YUMMINESS TOGETHER (Guys, at this point, you will want to drink the dressing. I am not even joking. BUT DON’T. You have a salad to make & MORE IMPORTANTLY, TO SEASON!!!!).
- Add the asparagus to the boiling water & boil it until it is TENDER CRISP (Guys, please keep a close eye on your asparagus. Over-boiled asparagus is gross, especially when you’re about to mix it with a bunch of other fresh & crisp veggies. Nobody likes when over-boiled asparagus makes ALL OTHER VEGGIES soggy. So please). TENDER-CRISPNESS (YES, I JUST MADE UP A WORD) is achieved when asparagus is boiled for 4-5 minutes MAX (No Netflix for you, Glen Coco!!).
- Drain & immediately transfer your asparagus to ice-cold running water to stop the cooking process! This part is also important – YOU WANT CRISP ASPARAGUS? DO IT. Let the asparagus rest for about 10 seconds & then drain it well.
- Combine all your veggies in a mixing bowl with the nutritional yeast. Mix well.
- NOW. FOR THE RICOTTA. THE BEST PART OF THIS SALAD. RICOTTA IS LIFE, OK? Sprinkle it with ALLLL THE YUMMY SPICES mentioned above. Fine fine, you’re lazy to scroll up & I’m too nice, so, here goes: Sprinkle your ricotta with organic sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika & oregano!
- DRIZZZZZZZZLE THE BEAUTIFUL VINAIGRETTE OVER THE TOP & TOSS THIS BABY. Once tossed, top your salad with that fresh, beautiful, creamy, fluffy ricotta & DEVOURRRRRRRR.
Your plate should look a lil’ something like this. If it doesn’t, sorry not sorry. There’s something you did not listen to. Something you did not trust me about. Those are the consequences. Deal with them. OKAY? Sometimes, we gotta learn the hard way. OKAY KELLY, SERIOUSLY, SHUT UP.
If this ain’t lunch goals, then what is? LOVE Y’ALL. XX!