Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Asparagus, Tenderstem Broccoli & Green Bean Salad GF SCD

Tenderstem broccoli or baby broccoli is one of the sweetest of Spring vegetables. A cross between broccoli and Chinese kale, it was first cultivated in Japan using traditional plant breeding techniques. Nutritionally, it's a great source of vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium and its tender stem is very similar in texture to asparagus.

Well known for its cleansing and healing properties, asparagus is one of the oldest recorded vegetables. High in folic acid and a good source of potassium, vitamins A, B6, and C as well as thiamin (B1), asparagus was adored by the Romans so much so that they sent the freshly picked stalks by fast chariot to be frozen in The Alps so they could enjoy it out of season. Considered a delicacy in the past, I've noticed that asparagus has become much more affordable over the last few years.

Whenever I eat fine (French) beans I'm reminded of the packed lunch we were given on our journey back from France years ago. I was accompanying my Mother on a school trip to France (she was a teacher) and our lovely French hosts packed large cartons of French Beans in mayonnaise for the trip home. I'm sure they meant well but you can imagine how popular this was with 12 and 13 year old children from Bradford! But I adored it!

These vegetables work beautifully together in a salad.  If you are following the SCD, tahini is legal but is recommended as an advanced food, so be cautious.

Asparagus, Tenderstem Broccoli & Green Bean Salad GF SCD

200g tenderstem broccoli
200g asparagus
200g fine beans
4 tblsps (or more) toasted flaked almonds
red mini cos or salad leaves of your choice

Tahini Dressing

2 tblsps light tahini

Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tsp honey (or vegan alternative)
1 tblsp filtered water (or more)
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Make the tahini dressing by measuring the tahini, lemon juice, crushed garlic and honey into a jar. Add the filtered water to make it smooth and pourable then add freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste. Store in the fridge until needed.

Steam the tenderstem broccoli, fine beans and asparagus for about 5 minutes until just tender. It might be a good idea to steam the tenderstem broccoli separately since this may take slightly less time to cook than the beans and asparagus. Let the vegetables cool or you can dip them into some cold water for a short time.

Arrange the salad leaves on a serving plate. I chose mini red cos lettuce because it's slightly crunchy and the colours are beautiful.

Arrange the cooled vegetables over the salad leaves.

Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables.

Toast the flaked almonds in a frying pan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until slightly browned and scatter over the top and serve.