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Spring Vegetable Salad


The key to this salad is seasonality. Use what’s available, at its peak of freshness and flavour. Hearty and satisfying, this spring vegetable salad has several components. The salad quantities are just suggestions. You may want the dish to crunch with fresh radishes or have more cheese. You can modify this dish to your heart’s delight

Recipe courtesy of Chef Dave Smart


For the salad:
  • 1 cup (250 ml) fresh peas (shell peas, sugar snap or snow peas)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) baby carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup (250 ml) baby turnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup (250 ml) asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Lemon Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • Carrot Top Pesto (see recipe below)
  • Crispy Quinoa (see recipe below)
  • goat cheese
  • pea shoots
  • radishes, sliced thin
For the Carrot Top Pesto:
  • 2 cups (500 ml) carrot tops (centre stem removed), washed and dried
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) toasted slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) grated parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) olive oil
  • salt and white pepper to taste
For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
  • salt and white pepper to taste
For the Crispy Quinoa:
  • 1 cup (250 ml) red quinoa
  • 4 cups (1L) vegetable oil
  • salt


For the salad:
  1. In batches, blanch the vegetables in salted boiling water for 2–3 minutes. Shock in ice water to prevent overcooking. Dress with Lemon Vinaigrette.
  2. Brush Carrot Top Pesto in bottom of bowl.
  3. Place dressed vegetables on top of pesto and top with crumbled goat cheese and Crispy Quinoa.
  4. Garnish with pea shoots and sliced radishes.
For the Carrot Top Pesto:
  1. Transfer carrot tops, almonds, parmesan and garlic to a blender.
  2. With the blender running, add olive oil, a gentle plug at a time, and purée until smooth (you may not need all of the oil). Season with salt and pepper.
For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
  1. In a small bowl add the lemon juice and slowly add vegetable oil while whisking.
  2. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
For the Crispy Quinoa:
  1. Cook quinoa in salted boiling water until al dente (about 12–15 minutes).
  2. Drain and spread in an even layer on a sheet pan. Refrigerate overnight uncovered.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat to 325°F (160°C).
  4. Working in batches, deep-fry quinoa using a wire mesh strainer until crispy, approximately 1–2 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a paper towel lined sheet and season with salt while hot.

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