[pinit]strawberry-asparugusSummer brings warmer and longer days. It also brings us asparagus and strawberries. Here is a tasty, antioxidant-rich, eye-healthy salad celebrating these summer-time treats. The spinach and asparagus are great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin which can help protecting your eyes. Strawberries contain Vitamin C that can help with AMD and cataracts. The almonds give you Vitamin E, which also may help slow the onset and growth of cataracts.

Enjoy and Happy Summer!

What you’ll need to serve 4 to 6:

1 pound fresh asparagus

3 tablespoons good quality olive oil, divided

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 ? tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)

3 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar

8 cups trimmed spinach leaves (or use baby spinach)

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

? cup toasted slivered almonds

What you’ll do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they are thick, peel them. Cut into two-inch pieces. Place the asparagus pieces on the sheet and drizzle with no more than 1 tablespoon olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 15-25 minutes, until tender but still crisp (this will depend on the thickness of the asparagus). Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place the spinach, roasted asparagus pieces, and sliced strawberries in a large bowl. Add half of the dressing and gently toss. Taste – add more dressing if necessary. Divide into 4 to 6 portions and place on individual plates. Sprinkle each serving with the toasted almonds.

Thoughts and variations:

You can steam, broil, or grill the asparagus. Instead of strawberries, substitute ? of a small melon, cut into ?-inch cubes. Substitute baby field greens or arugula for the spinach. Use toasted walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts instead of the almonds. Add some crumbled feta or goat cheese to the salad.

Summer-Time Asparagus & Strawberry Spinach Salad
Summer-Time Asparagus & Strawberry Spinach Salad
by Michelle Moore