Asparagus, strawberries, chicken… a light salad for a sunny spring day. I love all the ingredients used to make this salad and the combination of them all is really divine.
Just make sure you don’t overcook the asparagus and the chicken and that the strawberries are really good ones and not the watery, chemical loaded, bad for the environment stuff coming from Spain (if you’re European). I don’t know where the bad ones come from in the rest of the world.
Best ones to use are those growing in your own garden, if not, than at least buy organic. Mine were organic and were definitely better than the regular ones, which taste like sour water but still I am looking forward to the best strawberries I get to eat every year, those growing in my mother-in-law’s garden.
She has lots and lots but unfortunately you don’t get the same amount growing nicely every year. Last year was quite a bad one for garden strawberries, so I am hoping for a better crop this time. Like two years ago, when the two of us were able to make enough jam to last for two years and the children could eat as many tasty, chemical free strawberries as they wanted.
When cleaning and cooking the asparagus, reserve the ends, those stringy parts of them you would usually throw away and in case of white asparagus also keep the peel. After cooking the asparagus, take it out of the water, then place the stringy parts and the peel in the water and continue simmering for about 20-30 minutes, uncovered. You will get a wonderful asparagus broth, which you can keep for about 1 week in the fridge or longer in the freezer and use for making soup or risotto.
- 500 g/ 17.6 oz asparagus, white or green
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, divided
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 handful mache (lamb's lettuce)
- about 12 strawberries
- 400 g/ 14 oz chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- paprika powder
- curry powder
- 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
- 200 g/ 7 oz low-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- some cress
- salt and pepper
- some bread to serve
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the sugar and the butter. Carefully place the asparagus in the water and cook for about 15 minutes in case of green asparagus and about 20 minutes in case of white asparagus. Check before the time is up, you definitely don't want to overcook the asparagus, it should still have a bite. (If you want to make asparagus broth continue as mentioned before).
- In the meantime heat a grill or a regular nonstick pan. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, some paprika and curry powder and cook until they are tender and the juices run clear, this should take about 8 to 12 minutes. Turn occasionally so that it browns evenly all over. Cut the chicken breasts into slices.
- Clean the mache and place a handful of it on each plate. Place the asparagus and chicken breast slices on top. Slice the strawberries and arrange on the plates as well. Sprinkle the cress on top.
- Mix together the mayonnaise, yogurt, milk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Adjust the taste with salt, pepper and curry powder.
- Serve the salad immediately adding as much dressing as you like.