Asparagus and Sugar Snap Salad with Molasses Vinaigrette

A few weeks ago, I shared my recipe for Cauliflower, Tomato and Avocado Salad – which I really enjoy, because it’s a delicious non-lettuce-based salad, and sometimes I get bored with lettuce. And here’s another non-lettuce-based salad recipe, that’s equally as delicious: Asparagus and Sugar Snap Salad with Molasses Vinaigrette!

You start by steaming the two star ingredients: 1 bunch of asparagus stalks, cut into 2-3″ pieces, and one 8-ounce package of sugar snap peas. I used my Richard Simmons Steam Heat. The asparagus steamed in 10 minutes, and the sugar snaps took 12, because they were a little bigger. (Cut them in half if they’re huge.)

While they are steaming away, you can prepare the rest of the salad ingredients:

  • 1/2 a cucumber, sliced or chopped into wedges
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a heirloom package that had many different colors)
  • 1 large avocado, chopped
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

The first thing I put in the big bowl was the avocado, and I quickly hit it with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, so it wouldn’t brown. I tossed it around so every avocado chunk got some lemon juice before adding the tomatoes, beans, and cucumber. (I didn’t worry about removing the excess lemon juice from the bowl, because – SPOILER ALERT! – I would be using the juice from the other half of the lemon in the dressing, so I didn’t mind if some extra lemon was already in the bowl.)

When the asparagus and sugar snaps are done steaming (they should be tender, but not mushy), run them under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool them down, because this isn’t a warm salad. You can add them to the bowl after the rinsing process.

The only thing left to make is the dressing! I used my Magic Bullet tiny blender, because it was the perfect size, and I do love using infomercial products! You can use a regular blender, or even just a whisk (if you take the time to mince the shallot really finely).

Here are the dressing ingredients:

  • 1 shallot
  • 4 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (or the vegetable oil of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • the juice of the other half of the aforementioned lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

I just blended it enough to combine all the flavors and pulverize the shallot into a million little pieces. The shallot prevented the dressing from being perfectly smooth, but that’s okay – texture is good! The finished dressing actually looked like melted chocolate… but it didn’t taste like melted chocolate!

And the only thing left to do is toss it all together. Voila, salad!

The mixture of cooked veggies and raw veggies is a really fun combo, and the molasses vinaigrette adds sweet, bitter, spicy, and rich flavors. I’m kinda on a molasses kick right now, after rediscovering the bottle in the back of my pantry.

I’d say this salad would serve 6 people, or maybe fewer if it was an entree instead of a side dish. A 1/6th serving has 215 calories, 10.3 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 151 mg of sodium, and 26 grams of carbs (about 1/2 of which are sugars).

It’s also a really good source of vitamins C and A, and iron. Plus, the avocado and beans add some healthy fats. Lots of good benefits in this salad!

And the best part is, it tastes really good! And I’m looking forward to using that molasses vinaigrette on other types of salads, too – or maybe as a marinade for chicken or fish.

Keep it up, David!

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